For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

The most unbelievable Grasshopper

Andrea from Sidecar, a wonderful blog on South African wildlife, send me these unbelievable pictures.

Can you see it in the first picture? No? I don't blame you. Unless you know what to look for, it is almost impossible to find.
Maybe in this one? It is a Stone Grasshopper (Trachypetrella) and are found in the western part of the country. I have only seen these in books and pictures like this. They are so well disguised, I doubt if I would ever be able to find one anyway as they mimic the rocks they are found amongst.
This is a mating pair and you can see the difference between the male and female. They are large, over 2 inches in length. Their antennae are thin and can be withdrawn into sockets. When attacked, they raise their hind legs and lash out with great strength and speed while producing a grating sound.
Thank you so much for sharing these with us Andrea. It is insects like this which peaks my interest and the more I find, the more I want to see and learn more.

32 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

This is amazing, I would never have seen them....... Thanks Andrea and thank you Joan for posting these photos. Diane

Life in Egypt said...

amazing.
do they realy reproduce on car dashboards.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

These are amazing Diane and was so pleased Andrea shared them with us. He is such a brilliant photographer of our SA fauna.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It sure is Tony. These were picked up by someone and Andrea took the pic on the dashboard. I cannot believe that they did not stop mating during this process. :)

Wonderful to hear from you again.

Andrea said...

Thank you Joan for posting my pictures.
I can only add they didn't stop mating even in my hands...

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Too busy hey? LOL!!

Thanks for sharing them Andrea, they have to be one of the most interesting insects I have seen for ages.

JM said...

Amazing! I could only 'see' them in the bottom shot. Thanks for sharing.

Philip said...

On the second picture Joan I can only see a leg I think LoL !!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Amazing disguise hey Jose? These critters are unbelievable.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are right Philip. If it was not for that, I would never have noticed either. :) I have to do a trip to the western Cape. On Groen last year they did a program of the insects and I was fascinated to see how many wonderful critters are found in that dry area.

Mary said...

Wow...I couln't find it at all...thought it was a rock.

Gaelyn said...

With your great training to look for the little life I actually could make out what I thought was one grasshopper in the first image. But only because you pointed at it. Great camo with the rocks. Thanks to both of you.

Krista said...

This is incredible! To be honest I'm still not sure I 'see' them in the last shot! LOL!

Craver Vii said...

The dashboard seems like an odd place for them to be, but maybe they were probably listening to romantic music.

Becky and Gary said...

I certainly couldn't see it in the first picture. What a sharp eye Andrea has!
So good at camo too.
B.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Me too Mary. Isn't nature wonderful? :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

These are only found on the west coast Gaelyn and I have not been there for about 20 years. As mentioned, the pictures were taken by Andrea and sent to me so I do not know who is pointing at the critter, probably a guide or tracker but these grasshoppers are incredible.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Almost inpossible to see then in the first two pictures Krista unless you know what to look for. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Andrea was saying that even in moving them they did not stop mating so it must have been really good romantic music too Craver. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

This was such a good find on his behalf. I am sure I would have missed it Becky. They make perfect stones. :)

Firefly said...

I didn't even know they existed. One must really know what you are looking for to find one of these amongst the rocks.

birdy said...

That's really an amazing species. Never saw, never heard before it. I'm wonder how did Andrea find it?

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I have seen them in my book Jonker but that is all. From now on I am going to have to check out rocks as well. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I thought you might find this one fascinating Birdy. I wonder if you have any of the species there by you?

That was a great find by him. I would have missed it for sure. :)

Rusty said...

Their camoflage leaves me speechless! ATB!

Sandy said...

Wow This is amazing..will go and study more on it...

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Rusty. It is amazing what one finds in nature.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Sandy. I should have used this for my "Art of Disguise" series. :)

Anna said...

Joan/Andrea this time you guys got me, didn't know where he was, wow. Anna :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! I cant say I blame you Anna. What a great disguise it has and I am sure I walk past things like this all the time without noticing it either. :)

Rambling Woods said...

Oh my gosh...that is amazing....

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I thought so too Michelle, but then I find most things in nature amazing. :)