Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Lubber Grasshopper

Image via Wikipedia
Lubber Grasshoppers look absolutely fantastic! They can reach some 8 centimetres in length, which is eye-catching in itself, but look at those tremendous colours! Oranges, browns, yellows, reds, all sorts of black bands and borders. Clearly this insect is no shrinking violet. That usually means one of two things...

In this case, those colours don't indicate venom and stings and the infliction of pain and death. Unless you eat it, maybe. Lubbers are toxic to the birds and such which may want to make a meal of it. They can also emit a nasty secretion as a kind of preview of the horrid taste that awaits any animal fool enough to let hunger get the better of them. It's a good thing they have these defences because their wings are so short that Lubbers can't fly or even jump any great distance. The wings are brightly coloured though, offering yet another warning to attackers, AND they can produce a loud hissing sound to startle and scare everything away. It seems that if you're brightly coloured and can't fly, you've got a lot of work to do.

Image by bob in swamp via Flickr
Young grasshoppers always look pretty much like adults, by which I mean they aren't maggots or caterpillars or anything like that. They can still appear quite different though, and in the case of Lubber Grasshoppers the nymphs are almost entirely black with little bits of red or yellow. I guess it takes them some time to grow in confidence and ostentation?

Lubber Grasshoppers are from southeast and south central United States and are also known as Southeast Lubber Grasshoppers. Needless to say, they are well known in those parts and I'm sure they're loved by many so long as they aren't destroying the garden.

Image by MrClean1982 via Flickr


TexWisGirl said...

the last image is very pretty. we get quite a few hoppers here. i'll have to pay closer attention to see if we get lubbers. we definitely get some big guys...

Unknown said...

I like that last one, too. It looks like it's on glass or something. This fellow is much bigger than any grasshopper I've ever seen, I find it hard to believe you'd need to pay attention to notice a grasshopper like this!

Crunchy said...

Y'know, some grasshoppers... just ain't cricket. ;D

Unknown said...

Hahahaah!. Very droll.

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