The three grasshoppers

Grasshoppers are delicately patterned creatures. I hadn’t appreciated this until one landed on the sofa cushion beside my elbow. 1 big grasshoppper 23-7-13Sandy coloured, tending towards orange, she was delicately flecked, textured almost like a sandy beach: good for disguise on dead leaves and sandy soil I guess.

In fact it might not actually be a grasshopper.  According to expert John from NaturePlus at the Natural History Museum in London, it may be a cricket. “It is holding its legs up, which is a feature of crickets. And with long wings I think this would be a Tettigoniidae. It has an ovipositor making it female.” I had to look up ‘ovipositor’, it is an organ at the end of the abdomen used for laying eggs. Grasshoppers use it to force a burrow into the earth, and cicadas use it to pierce the wood of twigs.

I confess I don’t know the difference between crickets and grasshoppers, but John confirms here that the two below definitely are grasshoppers – Egyptian grasshoppers, Anacridium aegyptium.

2 huge grasshopper 14-7-11This one [above] was huge, identified by a yellow stripe down the back of his head, and tiny speckles of brown and cream which looked like they’ve been added with a paintbrush.

And the third [below] at first sight looked similar, but without the yellow stripe on his head. 3 grasshopper on branch 25-9-11
5 to remember
el saltamontes – the grasshopper
estampado/a con delicadeza – delicately patterned
el almohadón – cushion [on chair]
el sofá – the sofa
el codo – the elbow

1 thought on “The three grasshoppers

  1. Pingback: A big fellow, or not | Notes on a Spanish Valley

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