Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera)

So, I don’t jump when I encounter a snake; I just stop and gasp quietly. However, when I encounter a grasshopper I startle and squeal. Well, you might too if it jumped just as you opened a car door and put your foot on the ground right beside it. It was a relief to see that it was only a grasshopper.

And that was how I encountered my first Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera) by a culvert on the road south from Pond 2A in the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in Jones County, Georgia last Saturday. Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is a flightless grasshopper – a male, I believe - that wanted to walk rather than hop. It covered ground fairly rapidly and only hopped when it had to.

From the right

From the left

From almost directly above

It made its way to a bush nearby and climbed to the top. I managed to coax it onto my hand for a close-up shot.

We spotted another landlubber climbing in a Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) plant across the road from this sighting. Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers (Romalea microptera) are found in the coastal states from North Carolina to eastern Texas. They may occur in large numbers and cause damage to crops.

Click on an image to view a larger image


- University of Florida, Department of Entomology and Nematology: Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera)

Identification resources:

- BugGuide: Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera)

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