bush crickets

Part of a project I’ve been working on the previous month. It will be published next year hopefully. The full project comprised around 90 images… I really enjoyed it. It was an ‘old style’ illustration project, not scientific illustration though, so it doesn’t have the accuracy I would have liked to achieve with the images (not enough time!)

So what do all these have in common? Well, they are all edible, and that is what the book is about!

Pictured, left to right starting from the top: Dragonfly (Anisoptera), Centipede(Scolopendra spp), Australian stingless bee (Meliponini tribe), Goliath Tarantula ( Teraphosa blondi), Termite (Reticuliformes spp), Roman snail (Helix spp), Bogong moth (Agrotis infusa), and Bush cricket (Leptophyes spp).

“Spiked Magician” (Saga pedo)

Also known as the predatory bush cricket, the spiked magician is a species of sagine bush cricket (Saginae) which occurs from southern Europe and western Asia from the Iberian peninsula across central Europe and central Asia to China. Sage pedo is known to inhabit both dry and wet meadows, pastures, scrubland, and even grain fields/vineyards. True to its common name Saga pedo is indeed predatory and will feed on a range of other insects. It earns its other common name due to the “enchating” way it moves its forelimbs as it approaches its prey.


Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Orthoptera-Ensifera-Tettigoniidea-Tettigoniidae-Saginae-Saga-S. pedo

Image: Christophe BERNIER


Armoured Bush Cricket (Acanthoplus discoidalis)

… AKA Armoured Ground katydid, Bradyporinae, a subfamily of the katydid family (Tettigoniidae). The species is native to parts of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. 

Acanthoplus discoidalis is a wide-bodied, flightless species that typically grows to a body length of about 5 cm. The pronotum bears several sharp, conical spines. The mandibles, or main biting jaws, are powerful; they can inflict a painful nip and they permit the insect to feed on material such as tough herbage or carrion.

Another defense against predators is reflex bleeding (also called “autohaemorrhaging” in which the insects squirt haemolymph from pores in their exoskeleton, achieving a range of a few centimetres…

(read more: Wikipedia)

photographs: SoniaSoma and RudiBosbouer


Predatory Bush Cricket (Saga pedo

… AKA “Spiked Magician”, the katydid family Tettigoniidae. This species is spread throughout the European part of the Mediterranean, and Asia as far east as China.

It is a wingless bush cricket, with the body size of up to 12 cm (4.7 in), which makes it one of the largest European insects. It is uncommon among its kind due to its carnivorous lifestyle, most often preying on smaller insects, with a known tendency towards cannibalism as well…

(read more: Wikipedia)

photographs by Christophe Bernier