Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Interesting yellow grasshopper

A thick growth of Partridge-pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) lines my front walkway. There are many other native plants in this bed, but few of them can match the Partridge-pea for pollinator allure. Dozens of bumblebees (genus Bombus) are on the plants at any time, and the high-pitched collective buzz as they buzz-pollinate the flowers is awesome. Partridge-pea also has extrafloral nectaries - I once wrote about those HERE - and myriad bees and wasps are always visiting those. There is always something interesting to see in this patch.

This, however, was completely new! I've seen a lot of Differential Grasshoppers (Melanoplus differentialis) in my time, but never one like this. This large species is one of our most common grasshoppers, but they are usually a drab olive color.

Back on July 18, my brother Mike came over to shoot pool - I LOVE shooting pool and have a table in the basement - and I was showing him all the action in the Partridge-pea. He peered into the plants and spotted the grasshopper, sitting just as it is on the fruit of Wild Blue Indigo (Baptisia australis). Fortunately, my macro rig with flash and diffuser was sitting inside on the kitchen counter. I did not pose the grasshopper, although I confess the bug looks good on the fruit. I'm not saying I wouldn't have perhaps posed it there, but you try "posing" a grasshopper sometime. Not easy to impossible.

Anyway, orthopterans routinely but rarely have pink or yellow variations, but I've never seen nor heard of yellow forms with this species. A bit of a scan around the Internet for images produced only one or two, so I imagine lemony-colored Differential Grasshoppers are pretty rare.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just found one of those