Skip to Content

Insect: Grasshoppers and locusts

Find, identify & discuss the insects of SANParks
User avatar
Imberbe
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 14486
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Location: Pretoria, RSA

Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread postby Imberbe » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:30 pm

It is one of the family of "Foam grasshoppers."

Here is a description of another one of the family, the same basics apply.


Imberbe wrote:It is the "Koppie Foam Grasshopper".

It is a flightless grasshopper found over large parts of S.A. The red colouring is a warning signal to predators that it is poisonous. It extracts heart poisons from the milkweeds it feeds on, and exudes these in a foam when molested. Known to be fatal to dogs.
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparksvolunteers.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.

User avatar
ndloti
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4958
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: southern gauteng

Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread postby ndloti » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:01 pm

Image
Another colourfull one that was found on Metsi Metsi trail .
Some of the detail has been lost in posting it , the original was close to perfect .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

darth bangkok
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread postby darth bangkok » Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:36 am

Hi there. My grasshopper is not quite as colorful as those previous ones, but if anyone can tell me what kind of grasshopper this is, it would be great.

Thanks!

Image
KNP 2009
30/8 - 31/8 - Pretoriuskop
1/9 - Skukuza
2/9 - 3/9 - Letaba
4/9 - Mopani

www.briancasatelli.smugmug.com/Wildlife

www.globaltwitcher.com

Tshwene
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:41 pm

Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread postby Tshwene » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:55 am

hi darth bangkok, your pic looks like a garden locust. feeds on leaves, buds, flowers of trees and grass. my book say "these strong insects can break human skin when they kick, using the spines of the hind legs". great pic, it is more difficult to take a good picture with these camouflage guys than the colourful ones. well done!

darth bangkok
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread postby darth bangkok » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:24 am

Hi Tshwene,

Sorry, I didn't receive any message that this thread had a response, but I decided to come by and check, so I just saw your response. Thanks for all that information. I am glad I didn't get toooo close then, I like my skin in one piece :big_eyes:

Cheers!
KNP 2009
30/8 - 31/8 - Pretoriuskop
1/9 - Skukuza
2/9 - 3/9 - Letaba
4/9 - Mopani

www.briancasatelli.smugmug.com/Wildlife

www.globaltwitcher.com

Jon Richfield
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 11:32 am

Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread postby Jon Richfield » Thu May 27, 2010 3:06 pm

Salamanda, beautiful beastie you have there!

It looks to me like an adult female predatory katydid (what I call a Tettigoniid or long-horned grasshopper). Depending on who is talking, it is in the subfamily Saginae. They are purely predatory, and eat whatever they can catch. Recently an Australian genus (if they are in fact in the same subfamily, which I do not know offhand) has been found to eat male cicadas, which they catch by mimicking the famales' calls! I am not aware of such behaviour round here. Maybe our katydids are more sentimental, or not so clever, maybe our cicadas are just too smart!

Either way, I have a really soft spot for the predatory Tettigoniidae.

They do have pretty sharp jaws though, so don't let them bite your soft spots.

Jon

User avatar
arks
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4183
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)

Re: Insect ID needed

Unread postby arks » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:56 pm

This one flew into my car a few Ks north of Nossob — I'd thought that I'd developed an "interesting" squeek until I spotted this critter on the passenger seat. Some sort of grasshopper? Or a cicaeda?

Image

Not very large, a bit more than an inch IIRC (would that be roughly 25mm? I'm hopeless with metric :redface: ).
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town
* * *
16-28 November Cape Town
29 November-20 January Darling

User avatar
pantera leo
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1076
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:53 pm
Location: Port Elizabeth

Re: Insect ID needed

Unread postby pantera leo » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:08 pm

Hi arks I'm no expert but it could be a grasshopper or a locust, maybe someone else can tell you the specie!

User avatar
oddesy
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3183
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Location: Randburg, SA

Re: Insect ID needed

Unread postby oddesy » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:19 pm

Arks it is a grasshopper (Family Acrididae). from your pic it looks as if the middle legs are elongated and this indicates that it is most probably a Burrowing grasshopper (Acrotylus). They can also stridulate very loudly so that could account for the squeak :thumbs_up: Acrotylus patruelis is the most common in that area
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

User avatar
arks
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4183
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)

Re: Insect ID needed

Unread postby arks » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:33 pm

Thanks, oddesy. With your help I googled and found a photo on line that looks quite like mine :) It was definitely making quite a loud noise and I was very happy to find that it was the grasshopper and not my car
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town
* * *
16-28 November Cape Town
29 November-20 January Darling

maiper
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:19 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Insect ID needed

Unread postby maiper » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:44 pm

Is there any insect expert that knows what kind of grasshopper this fiery thing is? Saw it in Boulders, near the penguins

Image
Image

User avatar
Caracal
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3086
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:44 pm
Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP

Re: Insect ID needed

Unread postby Caracal » Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:13 am

Morning maiper
I have just had a look through my books but I cannot find this exact critter.
I can only find the foam grasshopper ..although it is red it is a bit different.
Maybe this one also belongs to the foam grasshopper group..not sure.
:D

maiper
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:19 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Insect ID needed

Unread postby maiper » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:02 am

Caracal wrote:Morning maiper
I have just had a look through my books but I cannot find this exact critter.
I can only find the foam grasshopper ..although it is red it is a bit different.
Maybe this one also belongs to the foam grasshopper group..not sure.
:D


Thank you Caracal for looking through your books !

User avatar
lee lewis
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:08 pm
Location: Durban, South Africa

Re: Insect ID needed

Unread postby lee lewis » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:13 am

I think it is a Common Milkweed Locust.

This individual appears to still be in the 'pedestrian' stage of development. Notice the short little wings - they still have to grow longer before he can claim to be a mature specimen. According to the book (Updated Field Guide to Insects of South Africa) nymphs take two years to reach maturity.
"To be playing a part, no matter how small, in the conservation of our dwindling wildlife is an experience I shall always cherish." - Stuart Hilcove

I SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER NATIONAL PARK!

Jon Richfield
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 11:32 am

Re: Insect ID needed

Unread postby Jon Richfield » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:09 am

lee lewis wrote:I think it is a Common Milkweed Locust.
This individual appears to still be in the 'pedestrian' stage of development. Notice the short little wings - they still have to grow longer before he can claim to be a mature specimen. According to the book (Updated Field Guide to Insects of South Africa) nymphs take two years to reach maturity.

Lee, I reckon that you are right. Immature Pyrgomorphids generally differ from the adults in colour and behaviour. For one thing, in the first few stages the nymphs (or larvae, modern entomologists are sceptical about the validity of the distinction, but suit yourself, it is harmless at worst), the nymphs as I say, tend to swarm somewhat. Those that emerge from one or a few neighbouring egg purses, will stick together and feed and move in a mass. Such youngsters commonly are shiny, waxy black with little spots of vivid red or yellow. In a mass like that they scare off many of their possible predators, and naive predators quickly learn that there is not much to catch and eat apart from a sickening, poisonous secretion.
Many insects with warning colouration form such defensive masses. You probably have seen similar groups of red Pyrrhocorid stinkbug nymphs on plants from time to time.
As the young Pyrgomorphids grow and pass through their various instars, they become less sociable and the red spots in their colouration become larger until they take over and develop into the adult pattern. I should guess that the one in the picture was in its last, or just possibly second last, instar.
I hope that someone finds that helpful.
Cheers.
Jon


Return to “Insects and other invertebrates”