Grasshoppers and Crickets of Italy: A photographic field guide to all the species

Front Cover

Orthoptera is one of the most important and interesting Orders of the Class Insecta. They include grasshoppers and crickets that have a fundamental role in many terrestrial ecosystems. In this complete and updated publication all the 382 taxa (species and subspecies) of Orthoptera nowadays known from Italy are treated; 162 of these are endemic! Unfortunately, as well as for other groups of organisms, also orthopterans have many species suffering from maximum degree of threat, according to the Red List of Threatened Species compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Therefore, Grasshoppers & Crickets of Italy is very important also from a conservation point of view; it allows to recognize the endangered species for planning interventions to safeguard them. This new volume is an absolutely innovative tool in the field of nature handbooks. The authors have succeeded in realizing a text with a new and appealing graphic design, easy to consult, full of photos of morphological details useful to identify the species also by non-experts. Furthermore, very useful for the field work are the maps of the distribution areas, detailed at provincial level, for each species. This book will be useful not only for orthopterists, but also for young entomologists who will be able to measure their ability in identifying species, for agricultural technicians and for all nature and entomology lovers.

Gli Ortotteri sono uno degli ordini più importanti e interessanti della grande classe degli insetti. Essi comprendono grilli e cavallette, che rivestono un ruolo fondamentale negli ecosistemi terrestri. In questa pubblicazione completa e aggiornata sono trattati tutti i 382 taxa (specie e sottospecie) di Ortotteri conosciuti oggi in Italia; di questi ben 162 risultano endemici, cioè esclusivi del nostro Paese! Purtroppo, come per altri gruppi di organismi, anche tra gli Ortotteri figurano specie al massimo grado di minaccia, secondo la lista rossa stilata dall’IUCN. Grasshoppers & Crickets of Italy è utile, quindi, anche dal punto di vista conservazionistico, per conoscere le specie in pericolo e attuare interventi in grado di garantirne la tutela. Questa nuova guida è uno strumento assolutamente innovativo nel campo dei manuali naturalistici di campagna. Si tratta di un volume con una veste grafica moderna e accattivante, di facile consultazione, ricchissimo di immagini di particolari morfologici utili all’identificazione delle specie anche da parte di non esperti. Utilissime, per il lavoro sul campo, anche le mappe degli areali di distribuzione, dettagliate a livello di singola provincia. Una guida utile, non solo agli ortotterologi, ma anche ai giovani entomologi che vorranno misurarsi con la loro capacità di identificare le specie, ai tecnici agricoli e a tutti gli amanti della natura e dell’entomologia.


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About the author (2019)

Carmine Iorio is studying Natural Sciences at the University of Bologna. He has collaborated with the natural park of Serre-Persano (Salerno), managed by WWF Italia, as a guide for visitors and school groups. He has published some papers on the distribution of some Orthoptera on Italy and has collaborated, with the same authors of this Handbook, to the volume of the Italian Fauna on the Orthoptera, carrying out the attached DVD, in which he has replicated the dichotomous key, treated in the volume, in an interactive form.

Roberto Scherini has a degree in natural sciences. He has collaborated with parks, nature reserves, museums and schools for the realisation of public events relating to environmental education and for the organisation of didactic activities in the field. He is the founder and administrator of the web site, an internet portal dedicated to entomology. A contributor to the public understanding of science and a nature photographer, he is active as a referee for nature magazines, scientific translator and is the author of several articles and publications. He is also co-author of the books ‘Odonati d’Italia’ and ‘Dragonflies and Damselflies of Europe’.

Paolo Fontana was born in Vicenza the 5th of August 1965 and lives in Isola Vicentina (Veneto, Italy). In 1993 he obtained a degree in Agricultural Science and in 1998 the Ph.D. in applied entomology. He worked at the University of Padua up to 2009 and since 2009 he is working at the Fondazione Edmund Mach (San Michele all’Adige, Trento, Italy) as entomologist and apidologist. Principal fields of research are applied entomology, taxonomy and ecology of scale insects, taxonomy, biogeography, ecology and bioacoustics of the Orthoptera, apidology and beekeeping. Paolo Fontana published more than 200 papers and described up to date 80 new species and 16 new genera of arthropods, mostly Orthoptera.

Filippo Maria Buzzetti graduated in Natural Sciences and earned a PhD in Crop Protection at the University of Padua. He is teacher of mathematics and science in middle schools. He collaborates as entomologist with the Fondazione Museo Civico di Rovereto. His research fields are the bioacoustics and systematics of the Orthoptera and the systematics of the Gerromorpha Heteroptera in Europe, the Neotropics, South East Asia and Africa. He loves his family and jazz.

Roy Kleukers has a life long interest in insects. He co-ordinated two atlas projects (1990-1995, 2009- 2015) on Orthoptera in the Netherlands. In 1995 and 1996 he lived in Trieste (Italy) and started discovering the wonderful world of mediterranean grasshoppers. In this period he met Paolo Fontana and together they made many field trips. With Baudewijn Odé and Luc Willemse he makes yearly expeditions in southern Europe. They gathered many faunistic data, photographs, sound recordings and video’s. The information is compiled on His job is manager of EIS Kenniscentrum Insecten (Insect Expert Office) at Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden (the Netherlands).

Baudewijn Odé has grown up in a musical family and being a nature lover Baudewijn became hooked up to grasshoppers because of their sound production. One of his first sound recordings proved to be the second record of Chorthippus apricarius for the Netherlands. Baudewijn steadily expanded his knowledge and equipment for sound recording over the years resulting in a large collection of sound recordings and becoming a (co-)author in many research papers on European grasshoppers.

Bruno Massa, biologist, just retired from the University of Palermo, where he was professor of General and Applied Entomology. Since he was 13 years old, the biophilic interests to birds and insects (mainly grasshoppers) switched on; thus, he studied many aspects of the ecology, ethology and taxonomy of birds and grasshoppers through the Mediterranean countries, tropical Africa and many European Museums of Natural History. He has published many scientific papers and some popular books on naturalistic subjects.

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