Saddle-Backed Bush Cricket from Bulgaria

Subject: Ensifera
Location: Bulgaria
August 8, 2016 5:59 am
A friend of mine found this bug in his backyard. I could not ID it. It looks like weta to me which is strange – location is eastern Bulgaria. We have field crickets and grasshoppers here.
Signature: Del

Bush Cricket
Saddle-Backed Bush Cricket

Dear Del,
This Ensiferan is commonly called a Saddle-Backed Bush Cricket, and because of the long, sabre-like ovipositor, we are nearly certain it is a female Ephippiger ephippiger.  A male Saddle-Backed Bush Cricket is pictured on David Element’s Wildlife Webpage and the European Locusts and Their Ecology site states:  “threatened with extinction” and “In Germany Ephippiger ephippiger is critically endangered at the very few still existing sites (today almost exclusively in the middle Rhine valley area and its warmest tributary river valleys) by habitat changes. In Southern Europe (e.g. Southern France or Northern Greece) it is still more common.”  There is a nice image of a male Saddle-Backed Bush Cricket from Croatia on Project Noah.

Bush Cricket
Saddle-Backed Bush Cricket

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