Early Instar Eastern Lubber Grasshopper Nymphs

We are trying to identify these insects in our landscaping. They are about 3/4 inch long and maybe 1/4 inch wide with six legs. Some have just the yellowish stripe and others have the stripe and red rings. They mainly seem to face the same way and seem lethargic, they do not run and very easy to catch. There are hundreds of them on each plant. Thanks in any help identifying this insect that you can provide.
Stephen Clarke
Tampa Bay, Florida

Hi Stephen,
Thank you for getting back to us with your location. Often exact species identification depends upon a locale. These are early instar Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea guttata. This is a highly variable species when it comes to coloration. Also, Grasshoppers are insects with incomplete metamorphosis, and the basic body shape remains unchanged through a series of molts. Each molt increases the size of the grasshopper, and also sometimes changes coloration. Often nymphs are differently colored than adults. The striping on the abdomen is very distinct in your photo, but most online images do not show this pattern. Just to be sure, we will inquire if Eric Eaton agrees with our identification.

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