Saturday, October 15, 2011

Admirable Grasshopper


Admirable Grasshoppers (Syrbula admirabilis) are sometimes referred to as handsome grasshoppers and it is easy to see why. This is one of the prettiest species of grasshoppers to call Missouri home. They occur throughout the central and eastern portions of the United States including Arizona. Males and females look different from each other so it is somewhat easy to differentiate them. Males are darker, even blackish in color and are smaller than females. The females is generally green or brown. Males are good fliers, whereas females are poor fliers and typically hop to get away.  They are associated with dry grassy areas, like prairies, meadows and hay fields. 


This grasshopper feeds on a wide variety of plants, but is not known to cause any significant damage to forage or agricultural crops. Their population density tends to fluctuate from year to year. I rarely see more that a few individuals at a time in any given area. This is a late emerging species and the nymphs begin appearing in July. Mating between adults takes place late in the season after an elaborate mating ritual initiated by the male. He will wave his antennae, sing loudly and tipping his femora (thick upper portion of the back legs) towards the female. The males do not force themselves on the female like in many other species. I guess you could say these are the gentlemen of the grasshopper world. Once mated the female will lay egg masses under the ground. These egg masses will overwinter and emerge the following summer.


  1. Had to look at my files and see that this was the same as the one i sent the day before.They are thick on the trails, sometimes the dog gets tired of them and walks behind me.

  2. Wow. That female's disruptive coloration (and camouflage-y) is SO effective I feel like when I'm staring at her my eyes are freaking out. How in the WORLD did you locate that female amid all that green and brown?!?

    Wonderful shots of beautiful creatures. And nice to know they're "bien élevés."