Category: grasshoppers

I just wanted to say that it's grasshoppe…

I just wanted to say that it's grasshopper and cicada season where I live now. There so many grasshoppers that if I walk in any patch of dry sand and rock, anywhere from 10 to 100's of them start jumping at once and just cascade and fly into my face and I love them so much. What neat grasshopper facts do you have?

It’s grasshopper season here, too! I’m a bit of a grasshopper dunce, but I do still know some neat grasshopper facts.

One of my favorites is about grasshoppers vs. locusts. They’re essentially the same thing! There are some species of grasshoppers that will turn into massive swarms if they get too crowded, and they will destroy everything they will find. Some researchers looked into this, and it turns out, brushing their hind legs releases serotonin in their brains, and that’s what causes their behavioral changes! [link to LiveScience article] 

The Australian Department of Agriculture has a great page about locusts, including their life cycle, I highly recommend checking it out, it’s a great brief overview [link].

Another grasshopper fact, which I discovered by obsessively photographing every bug I see and then having people identify them for me on iNaturalist, is that… the same species can come in MANY different forms! Here are are bunch of photos of Short-winged Green Grasshoppers:

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Thing is, when I first encountered this species name, I assumed all of them would have… short wings… and that they would maybe, be green? NOPE!!! There is a LONG WINGED form (See the babe in the top left? Long wings!) And I don’t think I need to point out the ones that aren’t green. These are ALL THE SAME SPECIES! Don’t believe me? Bottom left corner, a green lady is mating with a brown gentleman. Definition of species, right?

Grasshoppers are so good at camouflaging, holy carp. Take these Aztec Grasshoppers for example. There are two in the photo. This is at Bastrop State Park, where some of the dirt is red from the iron content:

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Or what about this Broad-horned Grasshopper I saw in Malawi?

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And while we’re in Malawi, I HAVE TO SHARE this Gaudy fellow (seriously, the family is commonly called “Gaudy grasshoppers), a Dictyophorus sp. babe I saw hiding out in plain sight on a Cycad, which I didn’t see until I’d been staring at a wasp for several minutes:

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Coming back to Texas, I’ve seen SEMI-AQUATIC GRASSHOPPERS???? NO REALLY, THEY WERE ALL SWIMMING ON PURPOSE, AND THAT’S THEIR THING????? I still don’t know wtf these things are besides pygmy grasshoppers.

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Showy Grasshoppers (that’s their name!) that look like aliens:

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Aztec spur-throat grasshopper nymphs that look like candies:

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The Bird grasshoppers, named because, I presume, they are so huge they are mistaken for birds when they fly:

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One of my fondest grasshoppers memories, though, was of this Red-shanked Grasshopper, who was waiting outside my building at UT Austin when I was a grad student. I was leaving my lab late one night (1 am! Hey, I said I was a grad student!), and he was just waiting for me. I wasn’t a naturalist quite yet, this was 2014. So I did what came naturally to me when faced with a giant grasshopper:

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Grasshoppers are awesome! I hope you get to meet some fun ones!

July 6, 2019

Handmade insect earrings by RubySpotJewelry

Handmade insect earrings by RubySpotJewelry:

nanonaturalist:

Aren’t you tired of waking up every morning, knowing that once again you have to go through another day without insect wings dangling off of your ears? Well guess what?!

One of my insect friends (you know, the one with the inside scoop on the horse graveyard [link]? And the botflies? Oh, I haven’t posted about the botflies have I? He got botflies on purpose. I took photos. That was how I met him) makes earrings from insect wings. He recently set up an etsy account, and has asked for tips on keyword optimization. Pffft. Nah. Let me put these on the tumblrs. I told him to take better pictures, but for now, this is what he has (and he has a LOT more than what he posted, he’s up to his neck in these earrings).

Top Left: Cockroach
Top Right: Dragonfly
Bottom Left: Dragonfly
Bottom Right: Grasshopper

Right now he is looking for feedback on making a better etsy shop and trying to get the word out that his shop exists at all. So, hello bugblr, my friend’s shop exists, look! Anything I should pass along to him to help him out?

March 14, 2019

@glassfullofsass, my friend, share with wild reckless abandon. As I said, he’s up to his neck (or as I should have said, up to his ears in these things). He only posted four.

Some other fun facts: 

He’s the dude who made this display at Texas Memorial Museum when he was the entomology curator:

My photograph does absolutely no justice to this thing, the display is at least 4 ft tall, the Luna moths and Cecropia moth are dwarfed by the Blue Morpho, most those insects are several inches long (not to mention wide).

And when we went to dig up the horse bones, we did some “redneck sweep-netting” first (for earring purposes), which involves one person hanging out of the car window with the sweep net (trying to not get caught in the prickly pears), while the other person drives probably faster than advisable around an overgrown dirt/gravel road. After a lap, stop the car, get out, check the nets for goodies, check the grasshoppers for their wings, wait, let @nanonaturalist take their pictures first 

Two-striped Mermiria [link]

Aztec Grasshopper [link]

Also, he had a live scorpion in his pocket at a Taylor Swift concert (he’s a big fan).

Fun times! 

March 15, 2019

Regular

Inktober: Days 4, 5, 6

Bit behind, so I did some quick non-colored outlines. Needed inspiration for the last two, so I went through photos on my phone that aren’t on iNaturalist yet *gasp*

Day 4 prompt: Lacewing.

Drawing is of this bab whom my coworker found in her lab notebook [link to iNat]. I was cradling the sweet bab in my hand as I went to let him go, and he BIT ME!!!

Day 5 prompt: Spots.

This is the tortoise beetle species who loves eating my morning glories. These are the best: they are normally a shiny gold, but when they feel threatened, they withdraw all the fliud in their wings that creates the shiny gold effect, which will cause their bright red and black-spotted bodies to become visible. They mimic lady beetles, which taste terrible, as a way to protect themselves.

Day 6 prompt: Grasshopper

These things are leggy and hard to draw, but I’m pretty pleased with this one! Don’t know species yet, bit should be fairly obvious to anyone who knows their orthopterans.

October 7, 2018 (lying)

Prompts from @six-legs-and-more !

Some highlights from Hornsby Bend on Saturday!…

Some highlights from Hornsby Bend on Saturday!
1. Beelzebub Bee-killer (robberfly) AKA Fuzzy Wuzzy Eats Some Bees
2. Summer Tanager daintily pulling paper wasp larvae out of the nest and eating them
3. Comet Darner dragonfly (HUGE!!!)
4. There was a bug puddle full of swimming bugs that looked unusual. I looked at them a bit closer. THEY WERE ALL GRASSHOPPERS. WHAT WERE THEY DOING?!?
5. Anhinga!
6. Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher Borb
7. Crab spiders gettin’s lucky. This is how they mate! The male’s sexual organs are part of his mouth, the females are where her bellybutton would be if she had one.
8. Common Nighthawk
9. Mystery bug baby!
10. A Yellow Warbler who is actually VISIBLE for once

September 17, 2018

Some of my guests from the past week. 1. Jump…

Some of my guests from the past week.
1. Jumping spider (Colonus sp.)
2. Potter wasp
3. Juvenile Texas spiny lizard
4. Flower weevil
5. Billbug snout beetle
6. Longhorn bee
7. Green anole (being purple cuz they change colors
8. Hoverfly
9. Bird grasshopper (their poops are HUGE and look like caterpillars, I was confused for a while!)
10. Carolina sphinx moth and Scissors grinder cicada

September 9, 2018

Harassing tiny green friends July 20, 2018

Harassing tiny green friends

July 20, 2018

Lovely things at the Austin Bat Refuge. The ba…

Lovely things at the Austin Bat Refuge. The bat is a fruit bat (they are LARGE! and look like little puppies 😍)

Photos from November 1, 2017 / Posted Nov 2, 2017