Louisiana swamp bug
Hello,
I was startled by the size of these when I saw them while vacationing in New Orleans this July. They were just sitting happily in the grass outside the ticket office where we took our Swamp Tour. I thought they must be some kind of grasshopper, but I’ve never seen anything so big. What are they?
Thanks very much. The web site is fascinating!
Jim Smith

Hi Jim,
These are grasshoppers, Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea guttata. This species is usually brightly colored, but we found a posting on BugGuide with a comment by Eric Eaton, our favorite expert, regarding the unusual dark coloration.

Devil’s Horses
(09/14/2006) Just a tidbit
L Hi:
I’m glad you had info on the Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea guttata. My grandparents called the black variety “Devil’s Horses”, in case you didn’t know. Oops. In case it matters, I forgot to tell you, I’m from Birmingham, AL. Thanks,
Michael

2 Responses to Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

  1. Dave says:

    Greetings, and apologies for the delay in response.

    Lubbers: they’re a special case in the annals of entomophagy. My colleague and friend David George Gordon has served them for many years, when he can get them. Yet their seemingly-toxic properties are well-documented; various animals will eat one; vomit; and refuse to sample others. I’ve eaten them and served them once or twice; they’re not tasty, but there’s nothing all that bad about them. Other grasshopper species are clearly tastier, though usually less visually impressive.

    One of these days I might be able to get to the bottom of this conundrum, but there are bigger questions out there.

  2. wyatt s. brooks says:

    I found one in Cedar Grove, TN off of hwy seventy east. Hanging around a bush and some Tiger Lilys, The orange and white striped ones. It was just clumbing away from my weeder. took a picture looks just like the one above. wyatt brooks mckenzie tn 38201
    Saw an american bald Eagle this morning, across from the the Carroll County 1000 Acre lake off highway 70.

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