Subject: What is this?
Location: Austin Texas
July 26, 2015 6:49 pm
Saw this on a plant I have growing outdoors in my backyard.
This colorful nymph is an Aztec Spur-Throat Grasshopper, Aidemona azteca. BugGuide provides this information: “I couldn’t associate them with any particular single host plant, but the nymphs do seem to be partial to flowers. The coloring of young nymphs seems intriguing, and implies two possibilities. One is that they don’t taste good (not true ??). The other is that they are mimicking the ‘look’ of things that sting such as wasps and bees (which seems to be a common occurence in arthropods that like flowers – i.e. spiders, beetles, flies, etc.). Off-hand, I can’t think of any other grasshoppers in the US with this sort of coloring in the nymphs, unless they are southern species that I’ve never seen. Generally cryptic coloring is the rule for Grasshoppers (even Dactylotum is rather inconspicuous in habitat, till it jumps – broken pattern camouflage I think for that one – birds certainly do like Dactylotum). — David J Ferguson”