Sunday, April 4, 2010

Grasshopper Camouflage

I found this little grasshopper nymph out in the barrens. It looks like it would make a wonderful gargoyle atop some old building. The coloration of the grasshopper perfectly matches the barrens substrate.

From even a short distance, the grasshopper becomes impossible to see. As long as it doesn’t move, I would imagine it safe from most aerial predators.

I first noticed it while it sat on some of the dried grass. It’s fairly easy to see against the monocolor background of the grass leaves. It jumped a short distance onto the gravelly soil and disappeared. I scanned over it several times before seeing it again.

I just started dabbling in grasshopper ID last summer and am not sure what species this represents. There are a couple of species that seem to limit themselves to the barrens, so I guess I should spend some time identifying them this summer.

It appeared to be grazing some of the greenery from the rocks. There aren’t many plants growing yet on the barrens. There must be plenty to eat since the grasshopper seems to be perfectly healthy.

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