Ecuadorian Giant Red Grasshopper
November 9, 2009
We noticed this insect crawling around our lodge one night. The natives told me that it was called a ‘lobster bug,’ and that it may be the adult version of a grasshopper which loses it’s wings at an old age. The wings do appear to be shriveled, and it’s movements were slow. It is several inches long, easily over 8 inches. Hope you can help me identify this beauty.
P.S. His name is Bladerunner
Napo Valley, Ecuador
We randomly selected your letter from our older unanswered mail to post today. This is some species of Longhorned Orthopteran and we are going to write to an expert in the order, Piotr Naskrecki, to see if he can give us a species or genus identification. Based on the presence of an ovipositor, we hve to inform you that Bladerunner is a female.
Identification thanks to Piotr Naskrecki
This is a female of Panoploscelis, almost certainly P. specularis
(Pseudophyllinae: Eucocconotini). It is an interesting animal, one in which
the female has fully developed stridulatory organs on her wings, albeit ones
that are not homologous with those of the male. It really is a huge animal,
although probably not 8 inches long, more like 5, ovipositor included (at
least I have never seen an individual longer than that.)
Happy New Year!