Turkmen Grasshopper

Pallasiella turcomana (Fischer de Waldheim, 1833)

Ramburiella turcomana F.-W.: Peschev, 1960: 350-351; Pesev, 1962b: 77; Pesev, Maran, 1963: 39; Pesev, 1971: 218; Peshev, Andreeva, 1986: 100.

Order Grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera)

Family Short-horned grasshoppers (Acrididae)

Conservation status: in Bulgaria: Critically endangered CR [B1ab(ii,iii)+2ab(ii,iv)].

General distribution. Southern Italy, Macedonia, Greece (including the Aegean Sea islands), Southwestern Bulgaria, Turkey (the European part and Anatolia), the Ukraine (the Crimea), Russia (the southeastern European part), Transcaucasia, Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

Distribution and abundance in Bulgaria. Pallasiella turcomana is known only from the Sandanski-Petrich Kettle. It has been reported for the environs of Marino Pole Village [1, 2, 3], Petrich [1, 2, 3] and the Pirinska Bistritsa Valley [4]. In the first two localities it was found in 1929, and in the second and third in 1959. A small part of the characteristic habitat in the region has been preserved and singular specimens can probably still be found there.

Habitats. A xerobiotic and stenohygrophilic species inhabiting sunlit, dry areas, poor in herbaceous vegetation [5], barely affected by human activity, in the lowlands and the low mountainous belt.

Biology. The nymphs hatch in April and develop for about 40-50 days. The adults emerge from the second half of May to the first half of June and occur until the first half of August. They feed on species of the family of grasses (Poaceae). The eggs overwinter, laid in groups ("cocoons") in the soil.

Similar species. None.

Negative factors. Intensive agriculture and animal breeding in the Sandanski-Petrich Kettle destroyed or changed the natural habitat of the species to a large degree. The northern border of its range passes through the kettle and this is one of the reasons for the extreme rarity of the species in Bulgaria also in the past.

Conservation measures taken. None.

Conservation measures needed. Study of the region of Sandanski-Petrich Kettle and the neighbouring areas for establishing the abundance of the only population in Bulgaria and specifying measures for conservation of the species.

References. 1. Peschev, 1960; 2. Pesev, 1962b; 3. Pesev, 1971; 4. Pesev, Maran, 1963; 5. Peshev, Andreeva, 1986.

Authors: Dragan Chobanov, Alexi Popov

Turkmen Grasshopper (distribution map)

Turkmen Grasshopper (drawing)