You be afraid of Spiders if you want but for me it has got to be Grasshoppers.
Because they are so difficult to identify. All of the animals in this post are the same species, a Woodland Grasshopper, Omocestus rufipes. This is one of the easier species to identify.
This is a Woodland Grasshopper…
Admittedly those pictures are first a male and then a female but Grasshoppers of the same species don’t seem to feel any obligation to look the like each other. They very often look like something else.
This next female Woodland was wrongly identified for me by a good authority as a Common Green.
If you do feel like messing with some of these very dangerous animals (they can cause frustration) here are a few pointers as to what to look for.
What makes it a Woodland Grasshopper?
Colour isn’t a great help. Males are usually beige above as in my first picture and females are green or brown, that doesn’t leave much. If you find a blue one then it isn’t a Woodland.
Keels: These are the edges of the pronotum (The saddle like structure behind the head) and are sometimes called “pronotal side-keels”. They are a feature used to aid with grasshopper identification.
The Woodland Grasshopper has quite sharply angled keels. (so does the Common Green)
Identification comes down to comparing several different characteristics and not the obvious ones either, if this had a hairy thorax it would be something different.
My advice is don’t play cards with Grasshoppers, they are very tricky and if you want to get a positive identification try and get more than one picture. You have to try and get as many angles as you can.