What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

South African grasshopper
I attach a photo of a grasshopper I saw in Karoo National Park in South Africa while on holiday this January. It was at least 75mm long and I have never seen an insect so beautifully coloured. Can you possibly identify it for me please?
Thanks,
Geoff White

Hi Geoff,
Most of the colorful South African Grasshoppers are poisonous. We are consulting with Eric Eaton for a possibly species identification. Here is Eric’s input: “The South African grasshopper is in the Pyrgomorphidae, will try to remember to check my book at home for a possible species ID.”

Colorful South African Grasshopper (05/21/2006)
I believe that the colorful South African grasshopper on your homepage is Zonocerus elegans. If I am correct, they can have long wings or short wings, but they are all very colorful. Hope this helps,
Chad Lensbower

Update (05/24/2006) Eric Eaton has this to add:
Ok, the South African grasshopper is probably something in the genus Zonocerus, perhaps Z. elegans. Apparently they can be quite the pest, and even ‘Livestock avoid eating bushes infested with this species,’ according to my Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, by Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths, and Alan Weaving. You don’t say! Ha, I wouldn’t eat a bush full of those ‘hoppers, either. Eric”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Africa

3 Responses to South African Grasshopper

  1. Hi I farm in Southern Natal We hear a loud booming noise at night The locals say it is a large grasshopper Have you any ideas

    • Robyn Reed says:

      Mr Nicholson, I live in Hilton and we see a very big, green katydid like insect that makes a very bird- like sound at night. We haven’t heard it for a while so I can’t remembr if it’s exactly a booming noise, but it’s certainly quite deep and not insect-like at all. I seem to think that when I’ve seen it actually making the sound, it seems to be coming from contractions of its abdomen.

  2. Mel Tripp says:

    Mr Nicholson… what is the habitat where you hear this and what time of year… it is most likely a bird.. Eurasian Bittern, or some other bird species depending on the habitat?

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