Califera – Grasshoppers

•September 12, 2014 • 2 Comments

Here are some of the (what I think) identified grasshoppers (califera – Kurzfühlerschrecken)

Pezotettix giornae – Kleine or Rossis Knarrschrecke:Pezotettix giornae

Pseudochorthippus parallelus – Gemeiner Grashüpfer:Pseudochorthippus parallelus

Egyptian Locust – Anacridium aegyptium – Ägyptische Wanderheuschrecke:Anacrididum aegyptium - Egyptian Locust

Sort of pygmy locust – Tetrix Kraussi – Kurzflügel-Dornschrecke:
Long-horned Groundhopper – Tetrix tenuicornis – Langfühler Dornschrecke
Tetrix Kraussi

Immature grasshoppers

•September 12, 2014 • 1 Comment

update: Thanks again to the expert Florin at for the id help! These are not only immature ones.

Another post with unidentified (probably immature) grasshoppers. Every help welcome!

Photos taken end of August/beginning of September in the Ticino (southern part of Switzerland).

Grown up female Pezotettix giornae – Ausgewachsene weibliche Kleine Knarrschrecke:


different individual but same kind:Larve-12

The structure of the adult wing is good to see:


Chorthippus sp. last nymphe phase:Larve-11

as well:




•September 12, 2014 • 1 Comment

update: thanks to the expert Florin from he helped me with the identification where possible.

(I made this post for the experts from to help me identify the grasshoppers I photographed. That’s why the text is in German.)

Danke für die Hilfe! Alle Fotos wurden Ende August/Anfang September im Tessin gemacht.
Zum Vergrössern drauf klicken.

deutlich einwärts gebogene Halsschild-Seitenkiele ohne weisses Flügelfeld:

Chorthippus sp. – female:


Chorthippus sp. (if male Chorthippus mollis ignifer – Verkannter Grashüpfer or  Chorthippus brunneus – Brauner Grashüpfer):


Male Common field grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus – Brauner Grashüpfer, Männchen):
slender long wings and coloring are typical. Schmale lange Flügel sowie die Färbung sind typisch:


Most probably a female Common field grasshopper:Gomphocerinae-12

Most probably a Woodland Grasshopper (Omocestus rufipes - Buntbäuchiger Grashüpfer).


Chorthippus sp. (maybe a female from the Chorthippus biguttuls group)

Very difficult to identify without seeing the wings.Gomphocerinae-15

Also a female from the Chorthippus biguttulus group:


Two unsure Chorthippus brunneus grasshoppers:



female Mecostethus parapleurus – Weibliche Lauchschrecke:Gomphocerinae-20

Chorthippus sp. female (maybe Chorthippus mollis ignifer – evtl. Verkannter Grashüpfer):


Maybe male and female Common fiele grasshopper (evtl. Männchen und Weibchen des Braunen Grashüpfers):

Gomphocerinae-14 Gomphocerinae-13

Ensifera – Bush Crickets and Katydids

•September 10, 2014 • 3 Comments

I have done more macro photography lately and so I’ll post some insects photos over the next time. Please click on the photos to enlarge. All photos taken in the southern part of Switzerland.

Starting with “long antenna Grasshoppers” or better the ensifera (bush crickets and katydids – Langfühlerschrecken in German). Please feel free to correct me on wrong identifications!

Great Green Bush Cricket – Grosses Heupferd – Tettigonia viridissima:
Great Green Bush-Cricket

“Conehead bush cricket” – Grosse Schiefkopfschrecke – Ruspolia nitidula
Ruspolia nitidula - Conehead

Katydids / Phaneroptera falcata – Gemeine Sichelschrecke
Phaneroptera falcata

Nymph of Phaneroptera (either falcata or nana):
Phaneroptera falcata

Phaneroptera falcata

I really like the look of this one:
Phaneroptera falcata

Phaneroptera falcata

Phaneroptera nana – Vierpunktige Sichelschrecke
Phaneroptera nana

Gryllomorpha dalmatina – Stumme Grille
Gryllomorpha dalmatina

Also a Gryllomorpha dalmatina (Stumme Grille) found at night in the bath room:

Thanks for extra info Florian at

What the bird… #6: Mute Swan

•February 12, 2014 • 5 Comments

Again –  the Mute Swan normally is just “the swan” and actually the only Swan we have. As winter guests on Lake Constance we do have other all-white Tundra- and Whooper Swans with partially yellow beaks.
Mute Swan

The Mute Swan has a beautiful orange beak in nice contrast with the all white appearance.
Mute Swan

When I was still little I always thought that the nose hole is the eye. And my mother told us the story that the swans are married if they are wearing a ring. Today she says that she never would have said something like this and maybe I heard the story somewhere else or I invented it myself.
In German the Mute Swan (cygnus olor) is called Swan with knuckle (Höckerschwan). It isn’t really mute – it can grunt and its wings creak when flying. So the mute is probably to show the difference to the Whooper Swan (called Singing Swan in German) – but I have never heard one of these and so I can’t say anything about it.

And by the way: can you see an “ugly duckling” here?

More information:

Portrait in German

What the bird… #5: Mallard

•February 5, 2014 • 1 Comment

One of the most abundant ducks on Swiss lakes is probably the Mallard, that’s why most people just call it “the duck”.
Mallard female

Male and female are pretty easy to distinguish. A small problem is, that there are some other female ducks looking very alike, e.g. the Gadwall, who doesn’t have the blue part on the wing* or the Eurasian Teal who is much smaller. The male Mallard is unique in his colorful breeding plumage.
Mallard male

Mallards start courting in fall. Here are two older blog posts about males fighting and the courtship behavior. When they have found each other they stay together until spring.
Mallard with chicks
Only the females look after their little ones in spring and summer.
male Mallard while molting

The shiny drake gets very dull in summer while molting and looks almost like the female. As a child I always thought that they are gone, spending summer somewhere “on holiday”. But they stay – distinguishable from the females almost only by their yellow beak.

*no blue wing feathers visible on the first photo

More information:

Portrait in German

What the bird… #4: Collared Dove and Wood Pigeon

•January 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Besides the “normal pigeon” the two more unknown but still abundant pigeons in Switzerland are the Eurasian Collared Dove and the Common Wood Pigeon.

collared dove
The slender Collared Dove is beige-grey and its name giving black collar is a good field mark. The German name “Turkish Dove” shows that it came from the orient but is spreading more and more, for example in cities:
collared dove in nest in the middle of Zurich

The bigger Wood Pigeon is mostly seen on fields or in woods. It is definitely bigger than the other pigeons and it has a white dot on the side of the neck. While flying it shows a white band on every wing.
Wood Pigeon

Even I can distinguish the two pigeons by sound:
Collared Dova three parts: du-Duu do
Wood Pigeon five parts: DUH-duu, doo-doo … du

More information:

German version


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