Subject: Crickets or Grasshoppers
Geographic location of the bug: Southern Arizona
Time: 10:04 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: We were in southern AZ in October birding, and there were a lot of bugs about. Birding is my thing and those I can ID, but not so much bugs! These guys were all intriguing for their color, their armor, or behavior (some were eating each other). Thanks for taking a look!
How you want your letter signed: Tina
Each of your submitted images is a different species of Orthopteran, so we will be dealing with them individually. Your final image is of a Horse Lubber, Taeniopoda eques, a species of Grasshopper that is pictured on BugGuide. According to BugGuide: “Too bulky to properly fly, though long-winged males can coast a short distance. Males make clicking sound apparently with wings. Length of wings varies greatly, with some individuals having fully developed wings that exceed the tips of the abdomen and hind femora. Some of these long-winged individuals can briefly take to the air, but not so as it can be properly called “flight”. In others the wings are much shorter, and they can be used for little more than a threat display. These insects (especially males) will not hesitate to rear up, wave their front legs, spread their wings, make hissing sounds, and even lunge toward perceived threats. This can be quite entertaining for us humans, but apparently it is an effective defensive behavior. In addition the insects’ bold coloration is believed to be aposematic in nature, an advertisement of unpalatable or toxic chemicals contained within the insects’ bodies.”
Awesome, thank you!