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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Monkey grasshopper

Not exactly a commonly seen grasshopper belonging to the Eumastacidae family. This colorful grasshopper commonly lives in tropical rain forest and has rather short antennas. Long hind legs are a characteristic of monkey grasshoppers giving them a powerful leap whenever the need arise.

Being colorful mostly but specimen that are somewhat plain can be found as shown in the first photo, it is most probably poisonous, the color being a warning that it is not safe to be eaten. When observe closely their body shape certainly stands out from the common grasshoppers we often see.

There are more than 1,000 different kinds of monkey grasshoppers. Generally, grasshoppers are scientifically categorized into two main groups. Long horn and short horn and this refer to the length of its antennae. The long horns have antennae that are about the length of their body while the short horns have it with less than half their body length. Grasshoppers are than further classified into their respective specific types.

While searching for information on grasshoppers, I have come across some interesting facts which some of you may find interesting.
1. Like all insects they are cold blooded, that could explain why they are more active during a warm sunny day.
2. They breathe through tiny holes called spiracles, in their abdomens as they do not have lungs.
3. Each individual has five eyes, two large compound and three simple eyes. Till today no one is sure how the tree simple eyes are used.
4. The antennae or feelers besides helping it to feel its way around are also used to smell things.

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