Subject: Grasshopper in Oaxaca
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
September 27, 2013 7:55 pm
My husband found this colorful grasshopper in the garden last week. When I went to see what he was so excited about it flew to the other side of the garden and it was so pink as it flew that it looked like a butterfly to me. When he landed it was obviously not a butterfly but neither of us had ever seen such a beautiful and colorful grasshopper before. Attached are a couple pictures, I have more if you would like. We were just wondering what this beautiful creature is called. Thank you.
We believe this is a Horse Lubber in the genus Taeniopoda, however we have not had any luck identifying it to the species level. According to BugGuide, there are “Approximately 10 or 12 Central American and Mexican species, with only one found north of Mexico in the sw. United States.” BugGuide also notes: “Large clumsy grasshoppers, usually yellow and black in color with hind wings red bordered black and tegmina having a netted pattern of black and yellow that follows the veins. Most individuals cannot fly, but some with longest wings can apparently add some distance to their jumps, almost, but not quite taking to the air.” The markings on your individual are somewhat different from Taeniopoda eques which is found in the southwest portion of the United States, so we suspect you have a different species.
Update: October 22, 2013
We received a comment from Dominik who indicated this appears to look more like a Lubber in the genus Chromacris, and we found an image on PBase and several on FlickR that are a visual match as well as the link to Orthoptera Species File provided in the comment.