Patience Young Grasshopper! You have much to learn.

I got this picture, and couldn’t resist doing a blog post to show off my mad camera-phone skills. Ok, a fluke maybe, but I’m still happy with it.

IMG_20140810_160341I’m going to go (not very far) out on a limb here and say this is most likely the “Red Legged Grasshopper.” However, I could be wrong. Apparently there are a number of look-alike species but this is one of the most common grasshoppers in Southern Canada.

Species of the Week:

Red Legged Grasshopper

(Melanoplus femurrubrum)

Red Legged Grasshoppers grow up to about an inch in length, and can fly up to 40 feet. They are typically found in grassy, weedy areas, as grasses and weeds are their primary food source. Found across all of North America, they can be devastating crop pests. They will do variable damage in a particular year depending on the population size. (In case you didn’t know, grasshoppers and locusts are the same thing. The plague of locusts from the bible? … grasshoppers.)

This is interesting: they have hearing organs on their abdomens!

Just now, I was looking for clips of grasshopper sounds, and found out that they’ve been the ones making the noises that I’ve always heard in tall grasses and could never identify. And now … I think there’s one outside my window going crazy. I might have accidentally called it over with my computer. I wonder what I said. Here’s the sound clip of a grasshopper (different species): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyglT-rWE5c

In many parts of the world, grasshoppers are an important protein source. I haven’t tried them myself, although I have tried crickets. (Not too bad, but the legs get stuck in your teeth.) Here’s a recipe for grasshopper. Let me know how it goes! http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/authenticfamilyrecipes/r/chapulines.htm

 

Sources:

http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/red-legged-grasshopper

http://www.americaninsects.net/o/melanoplus-femurrubrum.html

http://bugguide.net/node/view/151116

http://insects.about.com/od/grasshoppersandcrickets/a/10-Cool-Facts-About-Grasshoppers.htm

 

 

 

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Posted on September 2, 2014, in Species of the week, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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