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Police warn man for releasing 1,000 foreign crickets in his garden
Daniel Emlyn-Jones received a police warning after putting 1,000 crickets into his East Oxford garden
SOME people will go to all sorts of lengths to stop the summer months drawing to a close.
For 40-year-old Daniel Emlyn-Jones, it meant releasing 1,000 tuneful Mediterranean crickets into his East Oxford garden.
But police have issued him with a warning, saying this action contravened the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Wildlife officer for Thames Valley Police PC Dean Kingham said: “The man released the insects as he liked the sound they made.
“While this sounds innocent, the introduction of animals not normally resident in the population can cause, at best, disruption to the local wildlife.
“At worst, it can cause damage by spreading disease or creating artificial populations.”
Force spokeswoman Lucy Billen said Mr Emlyn-Jones, of Divinity Road, was issued with an Adult Restorative Disposal after the incident in July.
He declined to comment when approached by the Oxford Mail.
But Pc Kingham last night confirmed Mr Emlyn-Jones had used traps bought from a pest control company to try to eradicate the population of crickets – gryllus bimaculatus, which are a common food source for pet reptiles.
Mr Emlyn-Jones is a warden of SS Mary and John churchyard and a private maths and science tutor. According to a report in a national newspaper, he ordered the crickets from a website, but he did not comment on this when contacted by the Oxford Mail.
“They might carry diseases.
“Gryllus bimaculatus make loud chirps, but I’m sure Mr Emlyn-Jones can buy CDs with cricket songs on instead.”
Evolution Reptiles in Wood Farm, Oxford, said gryllus bimaculatus are not available to buy at the store and people should not introduce them into the wild.
Andy Slaymaker, who works at the shop, said: “They can be ordered online but it is not a good idea to release them into your garden.
“I don’t think any pet shops in Oxford sell them.”
One Divinity Road resident claimed he could still hear the sound of crickets on Tuesday.
Patrick Gray, 65, a former Oxford city councillor, said he heard “cheerful chirping”.
He said: “I was intrigued. It was very loud and very cheerful and sounded like a night in the Mediterranean.
“I would not be in favour of people bringing new species in.”
Thames Valley Police issued the warning to Mr Emlyn-Jones last month.
If anyone is concerned about wildlife offences in their area, visit nwcu.police.uk
Gryllus bimaculatus factfile
- Gryllus bimaculatus, commonly known as Mediterranean crickets, are black.
- Their native habitat is tropical and sub-tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Europe.
- The crickets have a short lifespan of up to about eight weeks. They are only a fully grown breedable adult for about two to three weeks of that time.
- If kept as live feed for reptiles, Mediterranean Crickets should be kept at around 25 to 30 degrees celsius and fed dry foods such as oats, bran and grain.
- They produce a loud chirp made by rubbing their two outer wings together.
- They eat grasshoppers, flies, and the pupae of moths and butterflies. Pupae is the life stage of insects undergoing transformation from embryos to the last stage of metamorphosis.
- They prey on similar insects to common house crickets, known as acheta domesticus, which are also brown in colour.
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