Among the Clover – Aquatic Grasshoppers?

17 Mar
A crested lubber grasshopper (Xyleus sp.) in Argentina.

A crested grasshopper (Xyleus sp.) in a flooded clover field along the Paraná river.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (And happy birthday to my brother, Eric.)

The grasshopper above is a member of the lubber family Romaleidae, genus Xyleus, a crested grasshopper.  We encountered a number of these large fellows doing field work in Argentina last year.  While we were there, frequent rains caused flooding in most of our field sites along the Paraná river.  This made working with fire ants difficult.  In one notable instance we returned to a line of sugar baits the following day and found tadpoles swimming around them.  Not optimal for a fire ant foraging study.  We also got to observe lots of insects coping with (and flourishing in) the flooded conditions, as in the case of the grasshopper pictured feeding half underwater below.

Thanks to Paul Lenhart for photos, IDs, and being awesome!

Rhammatocerus sp. grasshopper feeding in a flooded field.

Rhammatocerus sp. grasshopper feeding in a flooded field along the Paraná.

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One Response to “Among the Clover – Aquatic Grasshoppers?”

  1. Unbiased Viewer March 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    Excellent holiday post!

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