I saw the first southern oak bush-cricket nymph of this year in our Dublin city garden last Friday, May 30. Its body length was no more than 5 mm, excluding antennae. I’m pretty certain that’s what it was, as we have had them here since 2008. By late autumn last year there seemed to be many more females than males. I wondered if this was indeed the case or if, perhaps, the male is just more secretive? Also, at this stage, the antennae of those I came across were much reduced in length.
Just before the first frost last November I caught one (a female). I placed it in a large glass bowl covered with a fine metal mesh on a south facing windowsill in an unheated room. Surprisingly it survived until late last week remaining active throughout. It fed on a diet of soft fruit, cooked chicken and aphids. For about a week before it expired it seem to be attacked by a mould/fungus that affected the tips of its limbs and joints.