species of the week #60 – little banded grasshopper

The little banded grasshopper is a member of the short-feathered grasshopper family. It has been extinct in Central Europe since the early 1940s. Isolated specimens can still be found in southern Europe. The sister species of the large banded grasshopper also became extinct in its last location in Germany in 2016.

Distribution status extinct
Remaining deposits Southern Europe, especially Hungary and the Balkans
Last sigting in Rhineland-Palatinate 1941
Habitat dry, warm, sparse rough grasslands
Threat Succession, habitat loss

Because the eastern banded grasshopper has been extinct in large parts of Europe for so long, there is little information about its behaviour and characteristics. From the few sites in the Balkans, however, it is known that it inhabits dry, warm, sparse rough grasslands, sometimes interspersed with stones.

The adult grasshoppers appear in summer. They lay their eggs in the soil in open places in late summer. These open sites are only temporary and are often colonised by pioneer plants or planted or cultivated by humans after a few years. Long-term open sites or wastelands are rare, and new sites hardly exist.

Grasshopper scientists from the Czech Republic searched for the little banded Grasshopper for ten years in order to find it again in a place with a population that was considered stable. In 2008, they too had to announce that the species was extinct in the Czech Republic.

Politically necessary:

– Comprehensive biotope protection

– Promotion of biotope networking

– Broad, cross-party discussion of the extinction of species

Click here for other exciting species of the week 

Picture: By Gilles San Martin from Namur, Belgium – Arcyptera microptera carpentieri male, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45480737