Oecanthus pellucens

Female wine chicken

The wine chicken ( Oecanthus pellucens ) is a long horned grasshopper, among these the only flowers Grille in Central Europe. In southern Europe, there is also the closely related and very similar species Oecanthus dulcisonans.


The wine chicken reaches a size of about 15 mm, the female is slightly larger than the male. The color is yellowish brown, straw-colored, the wings protrude mostly out just above the abdomen, but can be shorter or longer. The ovipositor of the female is bent long and weak, lying on the sides almost as long to Cerci.


The wine chicken inhabited mainly the countries around the Mediterranean with a focus in Southern Europe, on the east extends the spread to western Asia. The northern distribution limit runs through northern France, Belgium, Southern Germany, Czech Republic and southern Poland.

In Germany, most representatives of the heat favored the Upper Rhine Valley and several side valleys lies. From other federal states ( Bavaria, Thuringia, Saxony- Anhalt) only individual finds have been reported. Are populated almost exclusively low-lying areas in river valleys, a few discoveries lie about 400 m above sea level. NN.


The typical habitat of the wine chicken are dry warm and nutrient-poor areas such as dry grass, drifting sand dunes and brownfield sites, outside the main distribution areas of heat- exposed slopes are usually colonized, such as unmanaged ruderal vineyards.

Way of life

In mild weather you can from the end of July, for example, in the Upper Rhine Graben after dark and intermittently almost all night singing ( stridulation ) of the males hear: Fine " press - press ' syllables that follow with appropriate heat almost every second for minutes together. They are produced " syllables " by rubbing the steeply-pitched to a " horn ", forewing tender. When the male changes its orientation in vegetation, seems to be the song, " bauchrednerisch " to come from another corner. Therefore, this inconspicuous animals are difficult to locate even when they sing - of course, only for us, not for the level of attractive females.

After mating, the female lays the eggs in plant stems. It does not lead to specialization in certain plants.


The wine chicken feeds on the one hand of delicate flower parts such as dust and petals, but is also, as is evident from laboratory observations, dependent on animal food such as aphids, spiders, insect larvae.