Katydid: Gampsocleis buergeri

These huge katydids (bush-crickets) are everywhere at the moment. They sit perfectly camouflaged on leaves and then half jump, half crawl into the foliage making so much disturbance that it’s like a much larger animal is lurking there. Once you get used to spotting them before they disappear, it’s possible to sneak up and take photos.

Gampsocleis buergeriGampsocleis buergeriGampsocleis buergeriGampsocleis buergeri

Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae
Gampsocleis buergeri
Japanese katydid = kiri-girisu

Location: Yokoyama Village near Munakata Common (Google map link)

Green Bush-Cricket

In England we call these green bush-crickets, while they are called katydids in America. This bush-cricket had only one hind leg, but I took the photos from its “good side” and it posed nicely against the sky with a few autumn leaves in the background for good effect.

cow farmPhaulula macilentaPhaulula macilentaPhaulula macilenta

Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae

Phaulula macilenta = hime-kudamaki-modoki

Location: Side of road near cow farm close to Munakata Common (map).

Locust nymph

This species of locust (tsuchi-inago) is very common. The adults are quite large (up to 6cm) but not as big as the migratory locust (tonosama-bata).

Patanga japonica

Orthoptera: Catantopidae
Patanga japonica

Locust = tsuchi-inago

Location: path near Hyoutan Pond (map)


This is the same species of migratory locust (em>tonosama-bata) that is famous (infamous) as a pest in Africa. We get plenty of them here in Japan, but they don’t swarm like they do in Africa (at least not to my knowledge).

Wikipedia article on the migratory locust = here.

Locusta migratoria

Locusta migratoria
migratory locust = tonosama-bata

Location: Path by river in Munakata (map)

Longheaded grasshopper

The female of this species is really huge, almost 8cm long in some cases, which makes it Japan’s largest grasshopper. As you can see in the photo, the male/female size difference is considerable. Although the distance they jump can be impressive, they are relatively easy to catch.

acrida cinereaacrida cinerea

Oriental longheaded grasshopper
Acrida cinerea antennata = shouryou-bata

Mole Cricket

We found this oriental mole cricket (kera) under an advertising signboard at night. Mole crickets don’t just look like moles, with their spade-like front legs, they also behave like moles, living in underground tunnels and eating worms and grubs (as well as roots). They are nocturnal and live underground so it’s not that common to see them, but they are obviously attracted to light (at night) so we can see them in places like this.

Gryllotalpa fossororiental mole cricketoriental mole cricket

Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae:
Gryllotalpa fossor: Oriental mole cricket (kera)

Camel Cricket

I’ve built a patio in the garden and it has benches consisting of cemented concrete blocks with wood on top. These are hollow so that we can store things inside them. Anyway, I lifted the lid of an empty one and spotted three of these strange beasts inside.

Order: Orthoptera; Family: Rhaphidophoridae;
Camel cricket: Diestrammena japonica: madarakamadouma
Body length = 20-25mm
Wingless – related to cave crickets


Information in Japanese: Saitama Zoo