Bug Love (Grasshoppers, Moriarity, NM)
Attached is an image of a couple of amorous grasshoppers taken early October of 2007 near the town of Moriarity, NM; 40 miles east of Albuquerque. I am assuming the larger one is the female. She is almost as large as the index finger of a working man’s hand. The male had, what appeared to be, a defense behavior of springing its legs backwards if I got too close for its comfort. The broadside image was somewhat difficult to take because the female would rotate about the wire she was hanging on as I tried to position the camera; always positioning her belly toward the camera lens. I particularly like the bright red, yellow and black coloring of the male’s spiny legs; not to mention the vivid greens of their bodies. These bugs were everywhere and I can only guess they provided a substantial protein source to their natural predators for weathering the coming winter. Hope y’all enjoy. Regards,

Hi Dan,
The grasshoppers in your wonderful photo are Green Bird Grasshoppers, Schistocerca shoshone, also known as the Green Valley Grasshopper. According to BugGuide, they are found in “streamside (riparian) and desert habitats; also frequently found in cornfields or other tall growing vegetation.”

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