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Only known to occur in four small populations, some of which occupy less than 200 metres of shoreline.
Unknown, but probably in the region of 2 Gbp
A small flatworm-like marine invertebrate living over 600 million years ago (probably).
I should be sequenced because...: This will help us to answer a range of questions which will be vital in assessing the conservation status of our scaly cricket populations.
I am also known as the Atlantic beach cricket and I’m one of the rarest and least well-known of all of the grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera) in the UK. I’m also the only member of the family Mogoplistidae to be found in the UK. Members of this family are known as scaly crickets quite simply because their bodies are clothed in tiny scales (see electron micrograph of scales). I’m small (only about 1cm long as an adult) and I don’t have any wings. I’m very unusual for a cricket in that I live on pebbly and stony beaches, feeding on things washed up by the sea.
In the UK, I am known to occur in only four small populations: two in Pembrokeshire and one each in Devon and Dorset. I am also found in other parts of the world, such as the coast of France and Portugal. I’m considered to be “vulnerable” due to my small and widely scattered populations and the danger of marine pollution, rising sea levels and the increasing frequency of severe storms.
I have an unusually long life cycle: my eggs, which are laid over the summer, take a whole year to hatch. The hatchlings then take a further year to become adult (and pass the winter when only half grown) and adults sometimes live for up to a year. This means that I have to survive up to three winters, in which fierce winter storm waves frequently flood my shingle habitat.