Insect: Koppie Foam Grasshopper (Dictophorus spumans)

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CuriousCanadian
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Unread post by CuriousCanadian »

I made this new friend while out walking in the mountains
near GGHNP!!!

Image

Pretty isn't he? :D

Any idea what he is?
Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Imberbe
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Unread post by Imberbe »

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: Insect ID needed

Unread post by Rusty Justy »

An adult Koppie Foam Grasshopper(Dictophorus spumans)

Also poisonous, because it stores Heart-posions from the milkweeds it eats....Recorded as fatal to dogs, if consumed.
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Kenmo
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Grasshopper ID required

Unread post by Kenmo »

I took these beautiful insects in the Karoo in December 05 The closest I can find for Picture 1, is a pyrgomorphid grasshopper but nothing for Picture 2.

Can anyone help?

Picture 1

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Picture 2

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Kenmo
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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread post by Kenmo »

Thanks to both of you for the help with the caterpillar and the Kopie Foam Grasshopper.

Still struggling with the second grasshopper (picture 2). Does anyone know what it is?
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Imberbe
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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread post by Imberbe »

Same species, just a bit older. :wink:
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arks
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Re: Insect ID needed.

Unread post by arks »

Another ID please? This one seen in WCNP in mid-October.

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Re: Insect ID needed.

Unread post by Andy M »

Hello arks

The insect in your photo is a Koppie Foam Grasshopper (Dictyophorus spumans).
This is a grasshopper that does not hop. I will post more info on this fascinating grasshopper on Friday when I am back from KNP.

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Re: Insect ID needed.

Unread post by Andy M »

The koppie foam grasshopper. Dictyophorus spumans.

The grasshopper that does not fly jump or hop.

It just walks.

This gaudy red and black grasshopper has very short reddish tegmina (forewings), no hind wings and thus cannot fly.

Hopping or jumping in order to escape predators is also not a requisite as this grasshopper is toxic. It mainly feeds on noxious milkweed plants from which it extracts and stores poisonous cardiac glycosides which it exudes when molested. Ingesting these glycosides can be fatal.

The bright red and black colours termed “aposematic coloration” are there as a warning to any would be predator. “Don’t eat me”.

If this colour-coded warning is not enough to ward off some errant predator, when grabbed, the grasshopper releases a toxic foam from thoracic glands behind its head. (Hence the name koppie). This foam has a repugnant smell and contains similar toxins as contained in its body.

With such an array of defence mechanisms the koppie foam grasshopper, found throughout South Africa except KZN, is quite happy to simply walk slowly around in the open.

Image

Image

The photos were taken in the Bontebok Nat Park in September 2019

Andy M
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