Giant Female Grasshopper
I took this photo at the Museum of Natural History in Washington DC in the spring of 2005, at an exhibit of live, unusually large insects - where you could actually hold and touch these incredible beings. I held this female grasshopper in my hand and she was evers so beautiful and elegant in her slow movements. She was quite a bit larger than her male counterpart.
This is the species of grasshopper known as Romalea guttata, which is known commonly as the "Eastern lubber grasshopper," and is a grasshopper native the to southeastern and south central portion of the United States. However, the only known remaining populations exist in Florida and South Carolina. It is the most distinctive grasshopper species within the southeastern United States, and is well known both for its size and its unique coloration. It can reach nearly 3 inches in size. It was previously known as Romalea microptera.
MORE INFO ON GRASSHOPPERS:
The Grasshoppers have antennae that are almost always shorter than the body (sometimes filamentous), and short ovipositors. Those species that make easily heard noises usually do so by rubbing the hind femurs against the forewings or abdomen (stridulation), or by snapping the wings in flight. Tympana, if present, are on the sides of the first abdominal segment. The hind femora are typically long and strong, fitted for leaping. Generally they are winged, but hind wings are membranous while front wings (tegmina) are coriaceous and not fit for flight. Females are normally larger than males, with short ovipositors.