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

LIFE SOS Crau Grasshopper proudly represented at the 2022 Médoc Marathon

Published: Septembre 22 2022

On Saturday 10 September, the coordinator of the LIFE SOS Crau Grasshopper programme – Lisbeth Zechner – took advantage of an original setting to honour our Crau Plain Grasshopper: the

Breeding and reintroduction

Cathy Gibault, veterinarian dedicated to the Crau Plain Grasshopper

Published: Septembre 19 2022

Cathy Gibault is a veterinarian who has worked for more than 15 years in zoos on conservation programmes for threatened species. Since 2014, she has been contributing to the improvement of knowledge about the Crau Plain Grasshopper. Today ...

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Communicating and raising awareness

A dance dedicated to the Crau Plain Grasshopper

Published: Août 24 2022

A look back at the weekend of 23 and 24 July at the zoological garden of La Barben:

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Communicating and raising awareness

Conference at the Besançon zoo

Published: Août 01 2022

On 13, 14 & 15 August, the Citadelle of Besançon is organising a great weekend for the conservation of fauna and flora. On the programme: a conference on the Crau Plain Grasshopper.

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