Easter Lubber Grasshoppers: Nymph and Adult

2 grasshoppers
Hi there, you’re website has been very helpful in narrowing down what exactly I’ve photographed. I just wanted to be sure, though. Are these pictures both Eastern Lubber? Or is the second, more colorful one a Southeastern Lubber? I took these pictures April 20th, 2007, in Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Delray Beach Florida. Loxahatchee is the northern-most part of the Everglades. Both of these hoppers were there by the thousands, all over the ground. We had to walk carefully to be sure we didn’t step on any.
Amy Brown

Hi Amy,
According to BugGuide there is only one species in the genus Romulea so “Romalea microptera Beauvois and Romalea guttata (Houttuyn) seem to be inseparable synonyms.” BugGuide also indicates: “Distinguished by huge size and vivid yellow/red coloration (adult, light phase, southern Florida). Flightless. More northern adults are darker. Juvenile (nymph) is black with yellow (or red) stripes, also distinctive.” Earlier entries on our site are based on two different species because of the two names and the Audubon Guide recognizes the Southeastern Lubber Grasshopper. You have a dark nymph and brightly colored adult of the Southern coloration pattern of the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper. Lastly, BugGuide states: “There is one generation per year. During the summer, females lay masses of about 50 eggs in soil excavations about 5 cm deep. Each female lays one to three separate masses of eggs. Eggs overwinter in the soil, with hatching in early spring. Five juvenile instars, each typically lasting 20 days, ensue. Juveniles (nymphs) tend to stick together in groups near a food source. (This probably enhances the effectiveness of their warning coloration.) Remarks Adults are flightless. Coloration is aposematic (warning), apparently this species is distasteful to vertebrate predators. When disturbed, it will spread its wings, hiss, and secrete a smelly fluid from its spiracles.”

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