Subject: tiny grasshopper – with enormously long antennae
Geographic location of the bug: Sabah, Borneo
Time: 10:08 PM EDT
Flush with the near success of the recent giant cricket photos, I thought I’d try the other extreme. This tiny guy joined me for tea one afternoon on the Kinabatangan River. I thought at first it must be an early instar (?) but the length of the antennae make me think otherwise. Cool little critter whatever.
How you want your letter signed: Paul Prior
This really does look like a Grasshopper, a member of the Orthopteran suborder Caleifera, a group sometimes called the Short-Horned Orthoptera according to BugGuide, because they have short antennae, however, there is at least one family in the suborder, Tanaoceridae, the Desert Long-Horned Grasshoppers, that is pictured on BugGuide that does have long antennae. Though BugGuide is a site devoted to North American species, there might be Long-Horned Grasshoppers in Borneo as well. Most Orthopterans with long antennae, including Katydids and Crickets, belong to the suborder Ensifera, the Long-Horned Orthopterans. Based on this FlickR image, Borneo does have some Grasshoppers with long antennae. This is a young nymph, and it might be difficult to identify properly, but we will check with Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can provide any information.
Much appreciated, Daniel.
I’ll follow up on the leads you’ve provided. I’m not an entomologist at all so my belief that no youngster could possess such ridiculously long antennae was based simply on layman’s expectations. I fear that since it’s therefore an early instar it may be unidentifiable!