Bug Shots

A closer look at insect photography

Archive for the ‘Orthoptera’ Category

Grasshoppers, Locusts, Crickets, Katydids

Vegetable Grasshopper (Atractomorpha sp)

Posted by Darren on May 30, 2010

This shy insect is the Vegetable grasshopper (Atractomorpha sp), also known as the Grass Pyrgimorph.  As their name suggests they are often found on vegetables, and in this case, the obvious culprit in the basil theft investigation.  Not renowned for making a quick getaway, this grasshopper relies on its camouflage and stealth to survive.  I’m aware this shot doesn’t show a lot of the insect, but this is a great example of the way they will position themselves with respect to an intruder to make themselves as invisible as possible.

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Hedge Grasshopper (Valanga irregularis)

Posted by Darren on May 22, 2010

We are now getting closer and closer to winter here in Australia and I’ve been expecting insect activity to drop off in the next few months.  Winter here in Queensland is generally mild and I’m hoping that I’ll still have a lot of species about to photograph.  These grasshoppers are said to hibernate in winter though I am still seeing quite a few specimens around, mostly taking benefit from sunny positions on stems or leaves.  This is an example of a wingless nymph of the Hedge Grasshopper (Valanga irregularis) which you will find beautifully camouflaged on leaves while they are this small.  They are quite easy to photograph as I figure their best survival tactic is to stay perfectly still on these similar colored leaves until they become more capable of making a successful getaway.   The behavior of the large adults is quite different making them much harder to photograph.  You will often hear  larger Hedge Grasshoppers  jumping away as you approach well before you even see them.  The will also hide themselves on leaves of stems with respect to the position of the intruder making themselves as invisible as possible.

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Blackish Meadow Katydid

Posted by Darren on April 23, 2010

This elusive insect is the Blackish Meadow Katydid (Conocephalus semivittatus), generally a nocturnal insect that spends the day hidden in dark spaces.  I came across this Katydid by chance when I disturbed its hiding spot at the base of a large reed-like leaf.  A very shy insect, they try to make themselves invisible by hiding behind leaves in relation to the intruders position.


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Another Grasshopper Nymph

Posted by Darren on April 12, 2010

Here is another shot of a more mature nymph of Valanga irregularis, where the wings are starting to develop.  I’m hoping to capture more shots of the developing stages of this species of grasshopper.  I certainly have a lot of specimens in the garden, much to the detriment of several plants but it makes for good photography.

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Grasshopper Nymph

Posted by Darren on April 11, 2010

I believe this grasshopper is the nymph of the Hedge Grasshopper (Valanga irregularis).  These small nymphs are wingless and their green coloring blends them into the foliage.  They will often climb behind a leaf or stem as you approach as to make themselves less visible.  They seem to be the most common grasshopper I see in Brisbane gardens, and they can really eat a lot of foliage if they get in large numbers.

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