Ruspolia nitidula is a species belonging to the subfamily Conocephalinae of the family Tettigoniidae. It is found throughout Europe, Africa, and the Palearctic part of Asia. A vernacular name that has been used is "cone-headed grasshopper", although it is not a grasshopper, but rather a bush cricket.
The species is green, large, and slender with a cone-shaped head. The apex of the head has a cream-colored band that goes through it and the eyes. Its size ranges from 32–60 mm (1.3–2.4 in). The wings of both sexes extend further than the abdomen. They are able to produce a high-pitched buzzing sound.
It is native to central and southern Europe where it can be found on riverbanks and other wet areas that have long grass. It is scarcely found in southern Britain and came to the area via an accidental import. The species can be found from July to October. It is also native to Africa and the Palearctic part of Asia.
The cricket is commonly eaten in Uganda and the sale of them brings in a large amount of income. The price per unit weight is periodically higher than that of beef in Uganda markets. During the 1990s, coffee prices dropped, resulting in the loss of many citizens' primary income. The price of these crickets helped regain income during that decade, but the crickets had a short shelf life and would bite when removed from storage. It is also commonly eaten by many East African tribes.
A 2016 study by Food Science & Nutrition concluded that the cricket is considered nutritious and that sautéing them results in a better aroma and flavor. In Uganda, they are cooked by either sautéing, deep frying, or boiling and then they are dried. The cricket is either eaten at home or commercially in towns such as Kampala and Masaka.
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- Scopoli, J.A. 1786–88. Deliciae Flora et Fauna Insubricae Ticini. An account including new descriptions of the birds and mammals collected by Pierre Sonnerat on his voyages.
- "Ruspolia nitidula Scopoli, 1786". Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- Waltner-Toews, David (2017). Eat the Beetles!. ECW Press. pp. 181–182. ISBN 9781770413146.
- Gerhard Heldmaier; Dietrich Werner (6 December 2012). Environmental Signal Processing and Adaptation. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 232. ISBN 978-3-642-56096-5.
- "Ruspolia nitidula (Scopoli, 1786)". Orthoptera & Allied Insects. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- Ssepuuya, Geoffrey; Muzira Mukisa, Ivan; Nakimbugwe, Dorothy (April 13, 2016). "Nutritional composition, quality, and shelf stability of processed Ruspolia nitidula (edible grasshoppers)". Food Science & Nutrition. 5 (1): 103–112. doi:10.1002/fsn3.369. PMC 5217929. PMID 28070321.