The wartbiter (Decticus verrucivorus), here a female with an imposing ovipositor is one of the largest and heaviest indigenous insects.

Warbiter: sun-lover with bite

When a noise sounds out from a moor that is vaguely reminiscent of a bicycle chain running, this is usually not a cyclist who has lost his way but rather the song of the wartbiter (Decticus verrucivorus). The wartbiter is a brawny grasshopper that can grow to be more than 4 cm in length. With its imposing ovipositor which measures another 2.5 cm or so, the female lays eggs in moist soils. It can take several years until the larvae have developed into fully developed wartbiters. For people, the ovipositor is harmless, however, a bite from the powerful jaws can quite hurt. The wartbiter can thus catch larger insects. It also feeds on plants. In earlier times, warts were burned away with its digestive juices, which gives it its name “wartbiter”. The wartbiter is a discerning sun-lover. It likes to live in unfertilised grassland with low vegetation. The male falls silent as soon as the sun has disappeared behind a cloud. Every now and then, it can be mistaken for a frog because when there is danger, it gets itself to safety with frog-like leaps.

Der Warzenbeisser ist ein anspruchsvoller Sonnenanbeter. Er besiedelt gerne ungedüngtes Grünland mit niedriger Vegetation. Das Männchen verstummt, sobald die Sonne hinter einer Wolke verschwindet. Ab und zu dürfte er auch mit einem Frosch verwechselt werden, denn bei Gefahr bringt er sich mit froschartigen Sprüngen in Sicherheit.

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