Scaly cricket (Pseudomogoplistes vicentae)

Female scaly cricket, lateral view
Loading more images and videos...

Scaly cricket fact file

Scaly cricket description


First recorded in Britain in 1949, this species is small, with a chestnut brown to grey body and pale legs, which are covered with minute scales. Wings are absent in both sexes so males cannot stridulate; the female ovipositor is about the same length as the cerci (a pair of appendages at the very end of the abdomen, which often act as sensory organs). The English name derives from the covering of tiny scales.

Body length (males): 8-11 mm
Body length (females): 10-13 mm

Scaly cricket biology

Very little is known about this species in Britain. It emerges at night and probably feeds on decaying animal and plant material found on the strandline. Individual specimens may live up to three years and all stages of the life cycle can be found throughout the year.


Scaly cricket range

Found in the Mediterranean, southern Portugal, Madeira and the Cherbourg Peninsula in France. In Britain it was for many years known only from Chesil Beach in Dorset. This led to the now refuted notion that the species was introduced to Britain during The Second World War in sand from the Mediterranean region. Following the discovery of a second colony between Branscombe and Beer Head in Devon in 1998, and colonies on the Island of Sark in the Channel Islands and in Pembrokeshire, Wales during 2000, the species is now recognised as a true native of the British Isles.


Scaly cricket habitat

The scaly cricket inhabits shingle beaches, and has been found living amongst shingle, under rocks and beach debris. Most individuals inhabit shingle above the high-water mark, and are associated with the seaweed strandline.


Scaly cricket status

Classified as Endangered in Great Britain.


Scaly cricket threats

There has been no decline of the species in Great Britain, the scaly cricket is now known from four localities. However, colonies are sensitive to human disturbance and marine pollution.


Scaly cricket conservation

New sampling techniques used in researching this species have shown that the British populations are relatively large, it therefore seems that the species is not currently endangered in Great Britain. However, these populations are of international significance; the species is recognised as an international rarity.



Information supplied and authenticated by Bryan Pinchen (independent ecologist).



Pair of appendages at the posterior end of insect abdomen, which often perform a sensory role.
Egg-laying organ in female insects consisting of outgrowths of the abdomen (the hind region of the body in insects). The stinging organ and poison sac of worker bees and non-reproductive female wasps is a modified ovipositor.
Production of sound by rubbing a file across a membrane. In insects, often a file on a wing rubs against the surface of the other wing, or the file is on a leg which is scraped on the wing.



Image credit

Female scaly cricket, lateral view  
Female scaly cricket, lateral view

© Paul Brock /

Paul Brock


Link to this photo

Arkive species - Scaly cricket (Pseudomogoplistes vicentae) Embed this Arkive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to Arkive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about



MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite Arkive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!


Back To Top