Can anyone help to ID these grasshoppers? Masses of them around singing and mating in a meadow in the Julian Alps around 1000m.
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Thanks Michael. I'm sure you're right with Miramella, but M. irena seems to be a rare (Red Data vulnerable) species known from Hungary and Romania http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/13579/0. The very similar M.alpina seems to be a much more common Alpine species, much recorded for Slovenia, and the many photos I can find of it look a pretty good match also, so maybe that is more likely?.
Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.
M.alpina has much shorter wings than your grasshoppers. M. irena is certainly recorded from the Slovenian alps. The specimen shown on www.ortheur.org is from Bohinjska Bistrica, very close to where you photographed your pair. I have seen and photographed both species from the Julian Alps near Kranjska Gora. I have just checked on Fauna Europaea, who give it as present in Austria, Slovenia, Romania and Bosnia Herzegovina.
Many thanks for this detailed update, which I only just came across, with the more detailed range information and the wing length info. Good to know there is a haven for these rare grasshoppers in Slovenia -there really were masses at the site I saw mine. Have you seen the Miramella posted today 7.3.12 from the Italian Alps near Milan... The wings again look too long for M.alpina, the suggested species, but M.irena is not recorded there on Fauna europaea. Is it something else again?
Perhaps this could also be Miramella formosanta? It appears that M. formosanta and M.irena cannot be distinguished in photographs and that specimens are needed to be sure.
Yes, I think that looks right in every way.
I think formosanta can be ruled out for Slovenia. It seems to be confined to Italy and Switzerland. There is, however, another species M. carinthiaca which occurs in Slovenia. I incline to irena in this case because it seems that this species is recorded from the area in question, but there is no 100% certainty.
Yes, sorry, I didn't make myself clear... I agree the Slovenia ones are most likely M. irena (with M. carinthinaca as a possibility) after your helpful input, while the ones that martinjohnbisoho photographed in Italy are likely to be M. formosanta.
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