Home » Crau Plain Grasshopper » Species: Crau Plain Grasshopper

A species that exists only in the Crau

Endemic to the steppe grasslands of the Crau plainnear to Arles, the species has experienced a spectacular decline in the 20th century. Today, there are only three known sub-populations left:

  • a small relict population on seven hectares in Peau de Meau (National Nature Reserve of the Crau coussouls), the last in the centre of the Crau
  • two populations in the periphery of the Crau: one at Calissane (165 ha), straddling the Reserve and a military site, the other on the private BMW car testing site (85 ha).

It is listed as Critically Endangered on the global IUCN Red List and on the European Red List as well as on the French and Regional Red Lists. It is protected under French law.

To learn more about the Crau Plain Grasshopper, watch “A secret of the steppe”. This film was produced in 2019 by the animation studio Les Fées Spéciales supervised by the Conservatoire d’espaces naturels Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and the Chamber of Agriculture des Bouches-du-Rhône, both co-managers of the Crau Coussouls National Nature Reserve. It was supported by the following partners: WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature, National Geographic Society, DREAL Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Conseil départemental des Bouches-du-Rhône and Carrière de la Menudelle.

Who is the Crau Plain Grasshopper?

Scientific name: Prionotropis rhodanica Uvarov, 1923

Family: Pamphagidae. Only two species in France belong to this family. Both are endemic, endangered and protected (the second is the French Stone Grasshopper Prionotropis azami)

Size: Male 3.5 cm; female 4.5 cm

Life cycle of the species

The Crau Plain grasshopper spends most of the year in egg stage. The juveniles hatch at the beginning of April; after five moults, they reach the adult stage towards the end of May, depending on the weather conditions. Adults can be observed until the end of June or beginning of July.


Communicating and raising awareness

Grasshopper more real than nature !?

Published: Mai 11 2023

Finally you can observe them – for real! Or almost…

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Communicating and raising awareness

Spring 2023: event season!

Published: Mai 05 2023

This spring, our team has prepared a whole programme to discover the Crau Plain Grasshopper

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Breeding and reintroduction

First hatchings 2023

Published: Avril 24 2023

The first hatchings of Crau Plain Grasshopper in 2023 took place at the beginning of April and observations of the first juveniles are multiplying by the day!

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Communicating and raising awareness

Didactic and artistic objects for the Crau Plain Grasshopper

Published: Avril 14 2023

She cuts, assembles, glues, paints and articulates pieces of paper. She sculpts organic figures, plants, animals, then animates them. Her works transpire a naturalist sensitivity at the “edge of the brush”.

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