The predatory bush cricket has a remarkable life history, with the entire population consisting solely of females (there are two records of males in old literature, although these are doubtful) (6). Therefore, reproduction relies on parthenogenesis, where unfertilised eggs develop into ‘clones’ of the mother.
The female predatory bush cricket uses her ovipositor to deposit 25 to 80 eggs in the soil; in France this takes place during August and September (5). These eggs, which are amongst the largest known for insects, with a mean length and width of 11.9 millimetres and 3.8 millimetres respectively (4), usually hatch after two to three years of diapause, but may remain in the soil for up to five years. The eggs hatch after May, and the first adults are observed in July. Just four weeks after becoming an adult, the female begins egg-laying, which continues throughout the cricket’s incredibly brief life of just four to six months (5).
The predatory bush cricket is at its most active at twilight and during the night (4). It feeds upon grasshoppers, locusts and some mantids and, like other Saga species known for their cannibalistic tendencies, it will also feed on other bush crickets (5). On average, 11 grasshoppers or crickets are consumed each week (4). When prey is spotted, the cricket raises up on its hind- and mid-legs and moves towards the prey, slowly waving its fore-legs (2). Suddenly leaping on its unsuspecting victim, the prey is clasped with the fore- and mid-legs, and killed by a bite to the throat (5). The predatory bush cricket itself is prey for a variety of animals, including birds, rodents, lizards, frogs and toads (5).