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Insect: Grasshoppers and locusts

Find, identify & discuss the insects of SANParks
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oddesy
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Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread post by oddesy » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:13 pm

well from the features id say its definitely part of the Pyrgomorphidae family which is all the foam grasshoppers.

the closest species looks like it could be the common milkweed locust (Phymateus viridipes)
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Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread post by flying cheetah » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:49 pm

Here is another one, also seen in KwaZuluNatal. Any ideas :hmz:

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Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread post by 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.
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Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread post by 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 .
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Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread post by 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!

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Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread post by 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!

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Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread post by 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

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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread post by 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?

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Not very large, a bit more than an inch IIRC (would that be roughly 25mm? I'm hopeless with metric :redface: ).
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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread post by 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
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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread post by 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

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Image

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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread post by 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

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Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread post by adw » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:12 pm

Photographed at Suikerbosrand. I am not sure what the name of this grasshopper is and anyone kind enough to identify please let me know.

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Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread post by oddesy » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:27 pm

Impressive photo ADW :thumbs_up: its one of the Gastrimargus species, and all 15 are extremely similar looking
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Re: Grasshoppers and locusts

Unread post by adw » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:36 am

This grasshopper had his hind legs stretched out for a number of seconds. Just after the photo was taken he resumed into a ready to jump position.

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Re:

Unread post by Jon Richfield » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:03 pm

PhilQ wrote:With expert help the riddle what species this grasshopper is has now been resolved:
The grasshopper in your photo is indeed a member of the family Pamphagidae. It is a female of the genus The(unfortunately, it would be impossible to tell which species of Lobosceliana based on a picture alone.)
Species of this genus are highly sexually dimorphic, and while females are completely wingless, the males have long, leathery wings, and produce very loud stridulations.

Phil, and the rest of you interested parties:
I apologise for not thinking to respond to that question simply because it had passed by the time I saw it, but I was just checking my outstanding correspondence and it occurred to me that I never have seen any publication describing an observation I made on a Pamphagid female a few decades ago, Very possibly also in the genus Lobosceliana For all I could tell from memory.
Be that as it may, I found her charming. Having caught her and taken her back to the laboratory for observation, I was nonplussed a day or two later to find one of her droppings (cylindrical, somewhat curved, almost bean-shaped, and in fact the size of a small dried bean) lying in an otherwise empty beaker. Oh well...
Next day I was sitting at my desk, reading, when a small object went whizzing around my office, bumped into something and apparently vanished. Later I found another dropping on the floor! Errr...
I think it was the following day that I happened to be looking at my guest. She began to defecate, which was a rather slow, deliberate process of extruding one dropping. It stopped when perhaps three quarters of the dropping was exposed. Then she calmly lifted one hind leg and with the air of a smoker tapping ash off the end of a cigar, she kicked that hard, little (but in proportion to size, quite large) turd with sufficient force to send it bouncing about my office/laboratory.
On the one hand I found it to be a charming observation of the behaviour pattern, but it also is an instructive example of behaviour adapted to remove faecal material from the whereabouts of the producer. Various insects and some other animals have adaptations, sometimes striking adaptations, for the purpose. Accumulations of faeces often are clues to the presence of prey, and in the wild the droppings of such a grasshopper typically will land several metres away at least, not affording a useful clue to enemies.
In biology I often find it breathtaking to contemplate the sort of thing that can be remarkably interesting (well, certainly interesting to me!)


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