We're starting a new feature here that will hopefully be popular and if enough people like it we'll try doing VIDEO shorts once a week. The following was done with little planning - just a film crew following me into a cypress dome to see what we could find. If you like it - leave a COMMENT by clicking COMMENTS on the bottom of this post. You don't need to register if you don't wish - just toggle the "Name/URL" or "anonymous" button and type away. I hope you like.
Lubber Grasshopper hatchlings
After a few instars (growth stages), the Lubber has grown quite large.
Eventually it molts and takes on its adult form. The colors are a good indication to potential predators that the Lubbers taste disgusting. Short, vestigial wings are used to flair flamboyant orange and pink flashes - if predators hadn't noticed the warning signs before, they usually get the idea now.
The Lubbers are North America's largest grasshoppers reaching lengths over 4 inches long. Like cicadas or locusts, the Lubbers hatch out in cycles - some years being much worse than others. 2007 and 2008 were big years and you couldn't drive through the Everglades without crushing hundreds of them. Although unfortunate, there is no escaping escorting a few of them into grasshopper afterlife, but part of the strategy of some species is to put a lot of offspring out there and hope that at least a few survive to pass on Lubber genes.