The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is a large, distinct grasshopper species found throughout the southeastern United States, including areas from North Carolina down to Florida and west to Texas. These fascinating insects can grow up to 4 inches long and are known for their unique color patterns, which often feature a yellow or tawny base combined with black markings on their antennae, pronotum, and abdominal segments.
When they hatch, Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers are roughly 1 centimeter long and mostly black with a yellow dorsal stripe. They tend to congregate at the top of tall objects or plant stems after emerging from the soil. These grasshoppers are not just intriguing to observe but also have a significant impact on agriculture, as they can cause substantial damage to citrus, vegetable, and ornamental landscape plants due to their large numbers.
Eastern Lubber Grasshopper: Appearance and Species
The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera) is a large and dominating insect found in the southeastern United States. The average adult size is between 2.5 to 4 inches in length, making them one of the largest grasshopper species in the region1.
Colors and Patterns
Eastern Lubber grasshoppers are known for their striking and colorful appearance. Their coloration varies from mostly yellow or tawny with black accents on the antennae, pronotum, and abdomen2. In the nymph stage, they are black with yellow stripes3.
Males and females show slight differences in size and color pattern. Males are generally smaller than females, while females can have a wider range of size and weight, sometimes reaching 12 grams4.
|Weight||Lighter||Up to 12 grams|
Habitat and Distribution
The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is mainly found in the southeastern region of the United States1. Here’s a quick overview:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- Central Texas
These grasshoppers are known to enjoy a variety of habitat types. Some favorite habitats include:
- Broadleaf weeds
In each of their preferred habitats, Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers are attracted to a broad range of plant hosts, where they consume irregular holes in the vegetation3.
Life Cycle and Behavior
The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper has a distinct life cycle, involving the following stages:
- Nymphs: When newly hatched, they are 1 centimeter long and almost entirely black, with a long, yellow dorsal stripe1.
- Molting: Nymphs go through five molts, increasing in size2.
- Adulthood: After the final molt, they reach the adult stage.
This species has one generation per year, and both nymph and adult stages have unique characteristics.
Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers are known for their slow, clumsy movements3. They don’t fly or hop well due to their large size, making them harmless to humans but easy targets for predators.
These grasshoppers have developed unique adaptations to survive:
- Antennae: They have long antennae to detect predators and environment.
- Coloration: Young lubbers have bright stripes, while adults display bright colors, acting as a warning to predators4.
- Chemical defense: They secrete a foamy substance to deter predators.
Their behavior and adaptations have allowed Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers to thrive in their natural habitats.
Diet and Feeding
The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper feeds on a variety of plants. Some examples of their preferred vegetation include:
- Amazon Lily
In addition to these plants, they also feed on various vegetables and ornamental plants found in gardens and crops.
Impact on Gardens and Crops
Lubber grasshoppers can cause significant damage to gardens and crops due to their voracious appetites. They can consume a wide range of plants including:
Here is a comparison table of their impact on some common garden vegetables:
|Vegetable||Impact by Lubber Grasshopper|
Lubber grasshoppers can be particularly problematic for vegetable gardens as they tend to hop from plant to plant, causing widespread damage.
Eastern Lubber Grasshopper has a few physical adaptations to protect itself from predators. Despite having wings, Lubber Grasshoppers are actually flightless and only jump short distances. Their large bodies and bright colors provide a visual cue to predators, indicating a potential threat. Lubbers can also emit a loud hissing sound to deter predators while quickly crawling to escape.
- Bright coloration
- Large body size
- Hissing sounds
- Fast crawling
In addition to their physical defense mechanisms, Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers also possess chemical defenses which make them unpalatable to predators. These grasshoppers produce a toxic secretion that is foul-smelling and contains chemicals that can be harmful to other animals.
- Toxic secretion
- Foul-smelling chemicals
- Harmful to predators
Insecticides can be used to control Lubber Grasshopper populations. However, their unique biology may make some chemicals less effective. It is essential to choose appropriate insecticides that specifically target the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper to avoid harming other beneficial insects.
Comparison of Physical and Chemical Defenses
|Physical Defenses||Chemical Defenses|
|Bright coloration||Toxic secretion|
|Large body size||Foul-smelling chemicals|
|Hissing sounds||Harmful to predators|
Control and Management
Monitoring and Prevention
Eastern lubber grasshoppers can cause significant damage to citrus, vegetable crops, and ornamental landscape plants. To prevent them from damaging your garden:
- Regularly inspect plants for eggs and nymphs.
- Keep lawn areas mowed to limit the grasshopper’s habitat.
- Limit the amount of attractive vegetation in the area (source)
Insecticides can be an effective method for controlling eastern lubber grasshoppers. Some common insecticides include:
When choosing an insecticide, consider the following pros and cons:
|Carbaryl||Effective on nymphs and adults||Can harm beneficial insects|
|Bifenthrin||Controls spider mites as well||May flare spider mite populations if not managed|
|Permethrin||A strong and efficient chemical treatment||May harm bees and other beneficial insects|
Natural Predators and Biocontrol
Eastern lubber grasshoppers have few natural predators due to their unpalatable taste and bright warning colors. However, some vertebrate predators and biocontrol methods include:
- Birds (only a few species)
- Parasitic insects
- Pathogenic fungi
These natural predators may help manage grasshopper populations when combined with other control methods. (source)
In conclusion, a combination of monitoring, prevention, chemical treatments, and natural predators can help control eastern lubber grasshopper populations and protect your garden from damage.
Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.
Letter 1 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
black florida grasshopper with orange and yellow spots!!
February 5, 2010
Last June I went on vacation in Florida (St. Augustine). While I was there I found this enormous grass hopper. It was about three inches long and very bulky. It was shiny black with orange and yellow spots running down its back, orange stripes on its belly, and orange highlights on its head and thorax. I don’t think that it was fully grown because it had stubby little wings, like those of a nymph. Also, it had no antennae, so I’m wondering it maybe a bird or something attacked it. Thanks for any I.D. you can provide.
There are two distinct color variations of the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera, and this black variation is one. The other is yellow and orange with some darker markings.
Letter 2 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 11:31 PM
I worked at a volunteer camp in St. Bernard, Louisiana for a couple of years and these huge grasshoppers were always a source of wonder! When they are little, they’re half and inch long and slowly roamed around in packs of 20+.
A few weeks later, they were about four inches long and traveled solo. They are so large that they can’t even really jump! When they tried, they often landed on their sides.
In the pics, the big guy looks like he is all black, but I am pretty sure he had the red and yellow marks like the little ones do.
They really creeped out all of the out-of-town recovery volunteeers. The locals called them Devil Horses. Any idea about these grasshoppers?
St. Bernard, LA
What a delightful written account of your encounters with the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera. This large species is distasteful to predators, which is why it has such slow lazy movements, there is no need for it to try to escape. According to BugGuide: “Common name lubber means “a clumsy or lazy person” (from Middle English lobre meaning lazy, or lout, related to lob ). The use for this grasshopper likely refers to their slow movements–with ample chemical defenses, this grasshopper does not need to move quickly. ” The species has variable coloration, with one morph appearing as a bright yellow-orange form.
Letter 3 – Reticulate Lubber Grasshopper from Costa Rica
Subject: Black grasshopper?
Geographic location of the bug: Costa Rica
Time: 06:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hey bugman, I hope you can help find the name of this beautiful bug. I think I took the photo in February/March on the Caribbean coast, but it’s a few years back so I’m not 100% sure.
I appreciate your help!
How you want your letter signed: David
We identified your Reticulate Lubber Grasshopper, Taeniopoda reticulata, thank to iNaturalist where it states: “These brightly colored lubber grasshoppers were observed at several areas in the region, but they were not seen in the rainforests, swamps, or along the sandy beaches, although they could be found on the periphery of these areas where grasses were likely to grow. Nymphs were never found in regions without patches of the Hymenocallis lily.” We also located a FlickR image.
Letter 4 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
eastern lubber grasshoppers
April 9, 2010
i love your site! ive taken pics of these guys sometime in ’08. i just thought u might wanna use them. i hope you like my them.
dogafin Milton, FL
We really love your photos. We especially like the photo that shows the beautiful red underwings of the single specimen, and your other photo shows how truly large the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper can grow.
Letter 5 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper Hatchlings
A few pics for you guys.
With this year being a mass hatching year for the lubbers in Florida I decided to send a few of the color forms that I am seeing this year by the thousands. …
Thanks for sending us your images of Eastern Lubber Grasshopper Hatchlings, Romalea microptera. Perhaps you will send us some images of the adults in a few months.
Letter 6 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Is this a grasshopper? If so what kind?
August 14, 2009
This was found in Selmer, TN. McNairy County. We are located approximately 75 miles east of Memphis, TN near the MS border. I never had a chance to see it actually fly. It just crawled and hopped small distances mostly. It was relatively slow and didn’t seem very frightened by us.
35.181391, -88.708587 Selmer TN
This is an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera. There is a black form and an orange form of this species. According to BugGuide: “Common name lubber means “a clumsy or lazy person” (from Middle English lobre meaning lazy, or lout, related to lob). The use for this grasshopper likely refers to their slow movements–with ample chemical defenses, this grasshopper does not need to move quickly.“
Letter 7 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper Nymph
What is it?!
Location: Boca Raton, FL
April 3, 2011 5:22 pm
Hey bugman, my friend found this bug in his backyard. We’re from Boca Raton, FL (it’s pretty hot out here, in the 80s). We haven’t had any crazy storms down here recently but this isn’t like anything I’ve ever seen. I tried Googling but the only ones I found were the boxelder and the spittlebugs, but this one doesn’t look like them. Thanks!
This is an immature Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera, which you may read about on BugGuide. We are surprised your friend only found one as they generally appear in groups. They can get quite numerous at times. The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper displays aposematic warning coloration as they are reported to be quite distasteful.
Letter 8 – 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.
Tampa Bay, Florida
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.
Letter 9 – Easter Lubber Grasshoppers: Nymph and Adult
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.
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.”
Letter 10 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Another Eastern Lubber photo
These are rather large but are still in black phase. They were plentiful as nymphs, and now they are fewer in number, but quite large in size. They are found in all kinds of vegetation, but we have never seen them eat anything. Location: New Port Richey, FL 34654
Thanks for the great photo Dan.
Letter 11 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Bug with orange stripe
Could you plase identify this bug? I am located near Tallahassee, FL. Thanks.
Looks like it will be a bumper crop year for the Easter Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea guttata. This is the dark form.
(09/14/2006) Just a tidbit
I’m glad you had info on the Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea guttata. My grandparents called the black variety “Devil’s Horses”, in case you didn’t know. Oops. In case it matters, I forgot to tell you, I’m from Birmingham, AL. Thanks,
Letter 12 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Louisiana swamp bug
I was startled by the size of these when I saw them while vacationing in New Orleans this July. They were just sitting happily in the grass outside the ticket office where we took our Swamp Tour. I thought they must be some kind of grasshopper, but I’ve never seen anything so big. What are they?
Thanks very much. The web site is fascinating!
These are grasshoppers, Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea guttata. This species is usually brightly colored, but we found a posting on BugGuide with a comment by Eric Eaton, our favorite expert, regarding the unusual dark coloration.
(09/14/2006) Just a tidbit
I’m glad you had info on the Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea guttata. My grandparents called the black variety “Devil’s Horses”, in case you didn’t know. Oops. In case it matters, I forgot to tell you, I’m from Birmingham, AL. Thanks,
Letter 13 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Large colorful cricket
Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 11:22 AM
I found this large (about 3-4 inches) cricket looking bug on my rose bush. Since then I have seen him or his friends several places around my house. Once it was even walking along the edge of my roof. I was just wondering what it was.
Denham Springs, Louisiana
This is an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera. There are light and dark forms and yours is a textbook example of the light form. You can find a matching image and information on Bugguide.
Letter 14 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
a large 4″ bug
Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 5:33 PM
On July 2nd while walking in florida I came upon this creature. A sunny day, the temp was 85 degrees with high humidity. Black in color with orange and black markings. This bugs body is at least 3.5 inches long.
south of Punta Gorda, FL
This is an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera or sometimes Romalea guttata. There is a light form as well as the dark form represented by your photo. Generally, the southern specimens are lighter, according to BugGuide. BugGuide also has this to say: “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.”
Letter 15 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Black Bug with Red Stripe down back
April 14, 2010
I have found these bugs outside my house and I was wondering what they were and if I should be wary of them. Any ideas??
Winter Springs, FL
These are Eastern Lubber Grasshopper nymphs. They may get numerous, but they are no cause for concern.
Letter 16 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
impressive, but what is it?
Location: Ocala, Florida
September 7, 2010 7:25 pm
have seen 2 of these big boys this summer in north central Florida, both times in the grass. I live in Ocala, FL. I took these on my sidewalk. And here I thought I had a rabbit pooing on the sidewalk, lol! No, it’s this bug. I’m new to this region of the country….What is it?
Signature: thank you! Laura
This large flightless Grasshopper is known as an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera. There are two distinct color variations. Your individual is light, and the other is black with orange markings. They are so different they do not even look like the same species. It is said they are foul tasting which protects them from many predators. According to BugGuide: “When disturbed, it will spread its wings, hiss, and secrete a smelly fluid from its spiracles.”
Letter 17 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Bug in Florida
Location: St. Petersburg Fla, April or May
April 11, 2012 5:23 pm
A couple years ago I came across this bug sitting in the middle of the street as I was taking a walk after dinner, so I took a photo with my cell phone. About the same time a year later and in pretty much the same location, I was talking to a couple of neighbors when I had one of these wind up on my shoulder, whether it flew there or hopped there I`m not sure, all I do know is that it was only a couple of inches away from my ear when it omitted a very ominous sounding buzzing noise which scared the crap out of me, I swatted the thing to the ground and asked the others if they knew exactly what this bug was but they could not help me. If it helps any, this street was very close to a garden nursery several yards away. I was wondering if possibly this bug was attracted to some exotic tree or plant that may have been in the nursery. I`d be grateful for any help you can give me.
This is an immature Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera, a common species in Florida. It has both a light and dark morph. You may read more about the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper on BugGuide.
Letter 18 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Location: Naples FL
April 26, 2012 9:27 pm
Hi, and thank you for your help! I took a photo of what I believe is a cricket, but I have never seen one so colorful before. The photo was taken April 24, 2012, in Naples FL. I love the vibrant color, but it certainly seems like it would only attract predators as well. Can you name this bug?
Signature: Heather Argyle
The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera, really is a colorful creature and there are two distinct color variations, the other being black with orange markings. According to BugGuide: “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 (1). In some regions individuals are prevalently black, in others orange or yellow.”
Letter 19 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Location: Jacksonville, FL
September 17, 2014 11:39 am
Also, a few feet away from them I found this excellent Eastern lubber.
Absolutely. The lubber was in the grass next to an open, natural field also at the dog park in Jacksonville, FL. It didn’t seem to be in any particular hurry to get away and freely let me pick it up– I assume because they are toxic if ingested?
Thanks for sending in your image of an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper. According to BugGuide: “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.”
Letter 20 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Subject: Strange grasshopper?
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
July 27, 2015 9:16 am
This was spotted in summer in Jacksonville, Florida.
This brightly colored Grasshopper is an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, a species that has both a light and dark colored form. Though we have many images of this species in our archives, your wonderful image showing the bright red wings is an excellent addition.
Letter 21 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Subject: St Pete Florida outside
Location: St Pete, Fl
April 17, 2016 2:02 pm
Hiya! What the heck kind of hopper crawls instead of hopping?
Signature: ~ Neil
Letter 22 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Subject: Big cricket
Geographic location of the bug: Kendall, South Florida
Time: 10:59 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hello, I recently noticed this interesting insectos in my backyard and I would like to know what it is. I truly appreciate your time to answer my question. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed: Neil
This is an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, and it appears to be an immature individual. They are usually found in groups rather than individually.
Letter 23 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Subject: What type of Grasshopper?
Geographic location of the bug: St Johns County, FL
Time: 01:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Spotted this extremely large colorful grasshopper in a local park. Would like to know exactly what it is.
How you want your letter signed: Thanks, Michele
This is an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, a flightless species that often appears in great numbers. Your individual is a light colored individual. There is also a dark variation of the Eastern Lubber.
Letter 24 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper: Dark Form
Subject: what’s this bug?
Location: Central Florida
July 31, 2014 7:33 am
These are all over our yard, and eating all our plants and flowers.
What are these?
How do we get rid of these things?
We live in central florida.
Signature: Bug Crazy!
Dear Bug Crazy,
This is an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera, and your individual is the dark form. There is also a light form of Eastern Lubber Grasshopper. According to BugGuide, they eat: “Many herbs and shrubs. Favorite foods are said to include: Pokeweed, Phytolaca americana; Tread-softly, Cnidoscolus stimmulosus; Pickerel Weed, Pontederia cordata; Lizard’s Tail, Saururus sp.; Sedges, Cyperus; and Arrowhead, Sagittaria sp.”
Subject: Eastern Lubber
August 1, 2014 9:06 pm
Thanks for letting me know what this bug is,
but how do I kill it??
My lawn and plants are covered with them.
Need to get rid of them, please.
Signature: Bug Crazy
Dear Bug Crazy,
We do not provide extermination advice.
Letter 25 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper found in NEW JERSEY!!!!
Walmart Watermelon Bug
Location: Found in NJ
June 24, 2011 10:11 pm
Good evening. A friend who works at a local Walmart was unpacking watermelons and came across this bug. To me it looks like a grasshopper of some sort and then again it doesn’t can you tell us what it is and if it is a danger.
This is an immature Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera. There are two recognized common color variations and this is the dark morph. There is a very thorough information page on BugGuide. According to BugGuide, the species is found in the south from Texas to South Carolina and all states between. It would be interesting to learn where the watermelons originated. Though this is a native species to the U.S., it does not range to New Jersey, and since its method of entry was unnatural in that it was the result of the transportation of crops, this could not be considered a normal range expansion. We doubt this individual will reproduce since it is too young to have mated, and it is not likely to find a mate in New Jersey unless it is another stowaway. We will nonetheless tag this as an Invasive Exotic.
Thanks so much for the quick response. It reminded me of a grasshopper I had seen in the everglades several years ago although the one in Florida was much brighter in color. As you can imagine this guy gave the young lady quite a jolt as she was unpacking the melons.
Letter 26 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper Hatchlings
Subject: Orange grasshopper Florida
February 23, 2015 1:23 pm
We saw a few dozen of these on the base of a tree by a southeastern river hammock near the natural fall-line about 5 miles inland from the Indian River lagoon. It is not listed on insectidentification.org, and 10-15 mins of web searching yielded nothing that closely resembled what I saw. Sorry for the poor quality image, but I did not have my good cameras with me (we were fishing), so a cellphone cam is the best I could do. The appearance of these grasshoppers is unique enough to be identifiable, even with the poor image.
Thanks for any info you may be able to offer.
These are recently hatched Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea microptera, a common flightless species in the south with two color variations.
I thought that was the most likely possibility, but I had not seen them in such an early phase before.
Letter 27 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper Nymphs
What kind of cricket is this…
I found this cricket on the side of our house tonight. There were "swarms" of them, so to speak. There were at least 100 of these little things all over the wall. They weren’t too big but were black with a redish orange stripe down the side and on top of them… The picture attached is a camera phone picture so I do have to appologize for the quality of it. Thank you for your help,
These look like Easter Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea guttata, the dark form. This grasshopper is found in the southeast U.S.
Letter 28 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper Nymphs
Subject: Maybe a Beetle from Middle Georgia
Location: Upson county Georgia
May 9, 2013 5:30 pm
This photo was snapped on the bank of the flint river in Upson county, Georgia in May. I would love to know what this bug is.
Signature: Sincerely, Zack
These are actually the nymphs of a large flightless Grasshopper known as the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera. Some years they can be especially plentiful. You can find additional information on BugGuide.
Letter 29 – Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers
We photographed these insects in Florida. IMG 0891 at Highlands Hammock State Park near Sebring on Feb. 26, 2008. Some kind of cricket? IMG 0054 at Lake Louisa State Park in Central Florida on March 6, 2008. Our field guides do not help identify them. Can you?
Diane and Ron
Hi Diane and Ron,
Your photo depicts the dark form of the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera.
Letter 30 – Eastern Lubber Hatchling
Subject: Red Hopper
Location: Southern Alabama, USA
May 6, 2013 12:32 pm
My friends and I found a group of small, red insects on a hiking trail. We were in Conecuh National Forest, a little south of Andalusia, Alabama on May 5, 2013. The insects couldn’t have been more than half an inch long. They had a yellow stripe running down their back, and they had no wings. We believe they might be some kind of juvenile grasshopper. Can you help us solve the mystery? If these aren’t fully grown, what will the adult version look like? Thank you!
Signature: Jack McDonald
This is a recently hatched Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera. When fully grown, they get quite large and they have small wings so they are flightless. They can get very numerous, and they are found in both a black color variation and an orange-yellow color variation. You can compare your image to this photo on BugGuide. There is also a wealth of information available on BugGuide.
Letter 31 – Eastern Lubber Nymphs
Subject: What is this? Can it hurt me?
Geographic location of the bug: Holiday, Florida
Time: 01:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Am visiting a friend and we saw this on the back fence. It’s maybe 1/2 inch long, stays in a small group. They haven’t left the fence for days. Is it dangerous, poisonous, to dogs? What is it?
How you want your letter signed: Victoria M.
These are the nymphs of the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, a flightless species found in the southeast. According to BugGuide: “Juveniles (nymphs) tend to stick together in groups near a food source. (This probably enhances the effectiveness of their warning coloration.)” and “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. In some regions individuals are prevalently black, in others orange or yellow.“
Letter 32 – Yellow Spotted Lubber from Costa Rica
Subject: Grasshopper ID
Location: Costa Rica
February 14, 2017 7:08 am
Taken in Costa Rica, Bosque de Paz cloud forest, September
We are posting your lovely images of a Costa Rican Grasshopper, but we did not find any images online in our first quick attempt at providing you a species identification. Perhaps one of our readers will recognize your Grasshopper.
Karl Provided Identification of Yellow Spotted Lubber
Hi Daniel and Myer:
What a beauty! This is a Yellow-spotted Lubber (Romaleidae: Munatia punctata). I could only find one good photo of this species online, on Flickr, but Rowell (1998) provides descriptive information (Page 25) and a good illustration (Fig.1). Regards, Karl
Letter 33 – Lubber Grasshoppers from Peru
Grasshopper family group
Location: Tingo Maria National Park, Huanuco, Peru
February 27, 2011 5:55 am
Can you please help with identification of these grasshoppers from Peru? Although they had separated by the time I photographed them, the adult was originally with the group of newly-hatched nymphs and photographed with them by one of my companions, so we believe it to be the same species, presumably the mother.
Signature: Peter Bruce-Jones
Hi again Peter,
While it is entirely possible that the adult Grasshopper and the Grasshopper Nymphs you photographed are the same species, it is also possible that chance occurrences brought them together. Grasshoppers do not care for their young, and often immature grasshoppers have drastically different coloration and markings than the adults of the same species. We hope our readership might be able to provide additional information on these colorful Peruvian Grasshoppers.
Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel and Peter:
These are lubber grasshoppers (Romaleidae: Romalaeinae) in the genus Chromacris. There are numerous internet images of very similar or identical looking grasshoppers, most of which are identified as Chromacris sp. or Chromacris speciosa. Of the dozen or so species and subspecies, C. speciosa is probably the most common and widely distributed. However, I suspect that many, if not most of the available internet images of C. speciosa have been misidentified. According to Roberts and Carbonell (1982), the only species with this particular color and pattern combination (yellow tipped antennae; yellow and black hind wings; three yellow bands on the hind femora and two on the hind tibiae; pale anterior and posterior forewing margins), is C. peruviana. Chromacris speciosa is highly variable but the antennae are always entirely black. The few images of Chromacris nymphs that I was able to find all look quite similar to the ones posted, so I would say they likely are of the same species as the adult. Regards. Karl
Roberts, H. Radclyffe, and Carlos S. Carbonell. 1982. A revision of the grasshopper genera Chromacris and Xestotrachelus (Orthoplera, Romaleidae, Romaleinae). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Volume 43: 43-58
Letter 34 – Immature Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Subject: What is tis
Location: Port Richey, Florida
May 4, 2016 10:25 pm
Saw this bug today in Port Richey, Florida Pasco county. Lived here 30 years. Have never seen it before. Tried to figure it out myself. Best I came up with was a whhte spotted Sawyer beetle..but then attennae would be much longer. Some have said locust, others cricket. What is it exactly?
This is the dark form of the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera. There is also a light color variation of the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper. When conditions are favorable, flightless Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers can get quite plentiful.
Letter 35 – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
Location: Houston, TX
August 14, 2010 9:02 am
I have noticed this grasshopper in my gardens recently.Could you please tell me what kind it is?
This large flightless grasshopper is known as the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera. There is both a light and dark variation. You may read more about the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper on BugGuide.
Thank you very much, I suspected it was an Eastern Lubber but wasn’t positive so thank you for the confirmation!
Letter 36 – Lubber Grasshopper from Mexico
Good looking Orthoperan
Dear bugman, last year I sent in an unidentified Katydid from texas.
You did so much legwork tracking down people to get me that information that I figured I should return the favor with this shot of another Orthopteran. I’ve taken an entomology course since then and I am fairly sure he’s a Lubber grasshopper (Family Romaleidae). He was enjoying some Mayan ruins near Merida, Mexico.
He was about three inches long, and a slow mover.
Mayan Ruins outside Yaxunah, Mexico
We agree that this looks like a Lubber Grasshopper, but we don’t recognize the species. Perhaps one of our readers will provide a comment with the correct identification. It really is a comely specimen.
Update: August 5, 2012
In trying to clean up some old unidentified postings, we now believe this is one of the Dragon Lubber Grasshoppers in the genus Dracotettix, based on photos posted to BugGuide.
Update: December 18, 2012
We just received a comment indicating a belief that this Grasshopper is a different species of Lubber: Taeniopoda reticulata. We looked at the links provided in the comment and we concur, and we also located this Encyclopedia of Life image to support the correction.
Letter 37 – Lubber Grasshopper or Homesteader
I saw this bug in Seligman, Arizona, while travelling through. It was about 5 cm long and very colorful. I’d love to know what it is…
We inquired from one of the entomologists who assist us and Eric Eaton wrote back: “It is actually an adult of the lubber grasshopper, or "homesteader," Brachystola magna. Cool! I have yet to see a live one myself. Thanks for sharing. You might post this to BugGuide, as I don’t think they have an image yet.”
I then did some additional research and found out they range from Minnesota to Arizona and Mexico, north to Montana. They eat vegetation and dead insects, and their bodies retain moisture. You should submit your photo to BugGuide.
Letter 38 – Lubbers Loving
What is this?
I have these outside my home in West Palm Beach, FL.Being from Pittsburgh, I am a little freaked out by their size and audacity. In this pic, there is one on top of the other. Not sure why, maybe I don’t want to know…
We think you know what your Southeastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea microptera, are doing, which is why they will be posted on our Love Among the Bugs page. Adults begin to appear in June and can be found through November in the South. They give off a malodorous liquid when handled and their hind legs have sharp spines that can cut human skin.
Follow-Up: (04/04/2005) Lubber grasshoppers
While perusing your site I came across a picture of the Southern Lubber Grasshopper. We have three color variations of a very similar grasshopper in our yard in South Central Louisiana (just south of Baton Rouge ). There is a large black variety with red on the wings, a black and white stripped and a black, yellow and white stripped variety. Are these from the same family? I have heard a myriad of common names: Devil’s Horse, creosote grasshopper, Tobacco juice Grasshopper, Black locust; etc. They absolutely love to eat my crinum lilies which have thick fleshy leaves. At maturity (or at least as large as I’ve seen) they are 4 or 5 inches in length. They are almost as bad as tomato horn worms when it comes to damage to a plant. Thanks so much for the time and energy you’ve spent to provide such an entertaining and informative site. As a gardener, it helps to know not only the enemies, but also the friends to my garden.
Lubber Grasshoppers come in several color variations. WE especially like the colorful common names you have given this critter in your area.
Letter 39 – Mating Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers
what is this?
Location: Plantersville, TX
June 26, 2011 9:18 pm
I found these ”grasshoppers” on a sidewalk in Plantersville, TX over the weekend. The hind end was wide, not very grasshopper-y. I was wondering if it was just a different kind of grasshopper or what.
Signature: Jana Doss
These are mating, flightless Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Romalea microptera. They have both a light and a dark form and this is the light form. We just posted a photo of the dark form that emerged from a watermelon shipment in New Jersey, many hundreds of miles north of its typical range. Texas is the furthest west the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is found.
Letter 40 – Mating Lubber Grasshoppers from Peru
Peruvian Grasshopper Photos
Date: January 19, 2012 10:12:38 AM PST
Okay, here are pics of a couple of grasshoppers that caught my attention in Peru last November.
… 2. “Yellow Grasshoppers”: photo of a male (enlarged portion of which you saw this morning), and a photo of a mating pair. Near Tarapoto, Dept. San Martín, northern Peru, 5 November 2011. On roadside vegetation, on top of a large leaf of a plant that may be in the Euphorbiaceae (most of which are toxic), but not sure if this was the foodplant or just a perching spot. (Photographed by our Peruvian bird guide, Silverio Duri, using my sister’s camera.)
You’re welcome to publish these if you see fit.
We have not been able to substantiate our identification with any matching photographs on the internet, but we believe these lovely creatures with aposomatic or warning coloration nodules on their heads and thoracic sections are Pyrgomorphs or Gaudy Grasshoppers. Was there any milkweed nearby. The look very much like the Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers in the family. We did locate this wonderful website called Flickriver: Most interesting photos tagged with pyrgomorphidae, but alas, your beauties are not represented.
Update: Cesar from Brazil sent us a link to Chromacris psittacus which is a very close match. If Cesar is correct in either the species or genus, then we are wrong in the family since Encyclopedia of Life classifies them in Romaleidae. We believe there may be an error someplace since BugGuide indicates the subfamily Romaleinae for Lubber Grasshoppers. Perhaps these are actually Lubber Grasshoppers, though often Lubbers have atrophied wings. There is an example with yellow antennae tips on Yakovlev alexey’s photos of FlickRiver. You need to scroll down a bit. Artour A’s Flickriver site gives a common name of Spendid Grasshopper or Brasilinho for the genus Chromacris.
Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel, Julian and Cesar:
I believe they are definitely a species of Chromacris and the best information I have found for this genus is by Radclyffe and Carbonell (1982). There are only two species in Peru that have yellow-tipped antennae. Based on the yellow banding on the hind legs, this one appears to be C. icterus. The other species with yellow-tipped antennae is C. peruviana, coincidentally posted on your site by Peter Bruce-Jones on February 28, 2011. The main difference is that C. icterus has one yellow band on the hind tibia, while C. peruviana has two (I can’t see the tibia on either of the two mating individuals so I am assuming they are all the same). Regards. Karl
Letter 41 – Mating Southeastern Lubber Grasshoppers
a few pics for ya from Central Florida
Got this shot in my back yard in august. It is the way they looked at me that made the shot. We have had a lot of these lubbers this year which means if we will be overrun nest summer. Thought these would be fitting for Bug Love.
Thanks for sending both of your images. We always like great images for our Bug Love pages.
Letter 42 – Molting Eastern Lubber
Subject : Who is this gem?
Geographic location of the bug: Florida [Late Spring]
Time: 04:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hello! My uncle posted this picture on Facebook of a strange bug he found hanging upside down from a plant. While I’m usually good at identifying the odd critter he comes across, this one has completely stumped me. Would you happen to know this mystery bug? Thank you!!
How you want your letter signed: Vexed in Virginia
Dear Vexed in Virginia,
This is an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, and we suspect the reason you are having difficulty identifying it is that it is in the process of molting. The legs that are hanging from the branch are part of the exoskeleton that is sloughed off when the insect molts. The hanging legs are the actual insect that has not yet fully emerged from its exuvia, or shed exoskeleton.
Letter 43 – Newly hatched Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
red striped bug
Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 5:58 PM
I walked out to the driveway and there were a hundred of these bugs on the driveway and in the dirt adjacent, and crawling up weeds in the area. The sort of jump like crickets. It was 80 degrees, 5pm, in Orlando FL. Is this a common bug to Florida?
Ms. New to Florida
Dear Ms. New to Florida,
This is a newly hatched Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera. BugGuide lists it as ranging in the Gulf States as well as Georgia and South Carolina. It is quite common in Florida. There is both a light and dark adult form. Adults do not fly. Nymphs are often black with a red or yellow stripe as your photo illustrates. Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers can be quite plentiful at times.
Letter 44 – Southeastern Lubber Grasshopper
What kind of grasshopper is this?
I found this on a tree while exploring our new property we will be moving to. I have never seen a grasshopper so bright or so large what type is it?
This is a common color variation of a Southeastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera.
Letter 45 – Southeastern Lubber Grasshopper
Hi! I’m in Florida and I have 3 pictures I have questions about. One is of some sort of bug…possibly a cricket or cicada? I’ve asked several people and they are not sure.
Hello again Jaime,
Your photo is a wonderful image of a Southeastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera. They have short wings and are incapable of flight. There are two different color variations. They are found in gardens, fields and on roadsides. Adults appear in June and are active until November. They can give off a foul smelling liquid when they are handled.
Letter 46 – Southeastern Lubber Grasshoppers Mating
I saw these around campus here in Miami the other day… im guessing they were copulating. I liked the colors so i snapped away, have any idea what they are?
Your mating insects are Southeastern Lubber Grasshoppers.
Letter 47 – Southeastern Lubber Grasshoppers Mating
Southeastern Lubber Grasshopper
My friend and I were hanging out today when our kids came running to show us these cool bugs. We shot these photos thinking we had found something really special. Well, turns out you have lots of Lubber Love photos. Just thought you might want a couple more. Is the male usually smaller than the female?
AC in Ruston, LA
The smaller size of the male Southeastern Lubber Grasshoppers is not unique. In most Grasshoppers, the female of the species is considerably larger.
Letter 48 – Toad Lubber Grasshopper
Subject: I’ve never seen one of these…
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
December 7, 2014 6:46 pm
A friend took a pic of this today near Tulsa, Oklahoma. We have no idea what it is.
This looks like a Toad Lubber Grasshopper, possibly the Chihuahua Lubber, Phrynotettix tshivavensis, which is pictured on BugGuide.
Letter 49 – Atypical Lubber Grasshopper from Brazil: Legua rosea
Ed. Note: Check out Cesar Crash’s Insetologia Blog of Brazilian Bugs!!!
Subject: Elongated headed Katydid
Location: Brasilia, Brazil
February 1, 2013 8:45 am
I received these images of an unusual looking Katydid. It has a conical shaped head, but I don’t think it’s a conehead, it has the antenas close to the tip of the head and other distinctive particularities I don’t find in any ither Katydids.
The pictures was taken by Barbara, she lives in South Africa, but the pictures was taken here in Brazil.
Signature: Cesar Crash
Thanks so much for forwarding Barbara’s wonderful photos. This is definitely an Orthopteran, but we disagree that it is a Longhorned Orthopteran in the suborder Ensifera that includes the Katydids. The antennae and overall morphology look more like that of a Grasshopper in the suborder Caelifera. We will contact Piotr Naskrecki to see if he recongnizes this large orthopteran. Meanwhile, we will continue to research its identity on our own.
P.S. Your Insetologia Blog is looking great. We tried to post a comment to your Callicore posting but we are not sure if we followed the directions correctly.
LOL. I have to say that the antenas was among the “other distinctive particularities” (but also the spines, the back, the underside, the bottom…)
Daniel, I didn’t understand the translation thing. Clicking on the translation, it opened this post? That’s strange, it is taking me to this: http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Finsetologia.blogspot.com.br%2F&langpair=auto%7Cen&hl=en
I also did not recieve any comment. So bad.
I forgot to say, I will do another research tonight, based on Caelifera. Thank you very much.
Hi again Cesar,
The translation feature on my end for your website works great. Since I don’t understand Portuguese, I clicked on the British flag and could read a (failed) translation in English. Remember, idioms never translate correctly. Mapwing comes out Wings-of-Map. When I tried to post a comment, there was no English translation, and there are two things to translate, a group of letters and a photo of a number. I believe I need to duplicate both, but I am not sure if I need to put a space between the two. Perhaps I am only supposed to choose one of the images. I will try again if you can provide some instruction. At any rate, I am most definitely linking to your blog for future South American entries on WTB? Your next step is to have google search engines find you. Congratulations again on a wonderful site.
Hehe, “that translator” used to translate bug in the meaning of error last year. For other languages, it’s worst, I noticed that it translates any language into English and than to the other language.
The common names, I’m creating for most of the species, usually a translation. I don’t believe we have common names for 10% of our creatures, not even for families or orders.
In the comments, you need to duplicate both, the letters and the image, no matter if you space or not. It was easier when it had no images, the only options I have is to display word verification or not.
As we don’t have many sites talking about our species, using Portuguese words, Google always provide links for Insetologia. For exemple, searching for Identificação de Insetos (Insect Identification), the first link is an advertisement (with nothing to do), the second one is a PDF, the third is Insetologia.
I think that the grasshopper may be close to this Borneacris in the family Trigonopterygidae.
Thank you so much again!
Your identification looks correct to us Cesar. Nice job of research. Thanks for sending us the I.D.
We chose “Bug” just because the word has such a broad set of meanings.
We have received a comment noting that the Borneacris is a genus in an Asian family and that this is most likely in the Subfamily Leptysminae which BugGuide calls the Spur-Throat Toothpick Grasshoppers.
Update courtesy of Karl: February 4, 2016
When this was initially posted three years ago it generated a considerable amount of commentary and several suggested identifications. It peaked my interest as well but, although I was not convinced by any of the suggestions offered, I could not come up with any reasonable alternatives to contribute. You eventually landed on Spur-Throat Toothpick Grasshopper (Acrididae: Leptysminae), but the length of the antennae, as well as size, shape and position of the eyes just didn’t look right. Today, however, I was trying to identify one of my own grasshopper photos when I came across a page on the Orthoptera Species File Online site that immediately reminded me of the post by Cesar Crash (on behalf of Barbara Garcia). The reason it was so hard to track down is because it is so totally atypical. I am fairly certain that this is actually a Lubber Grasshopper, Legua rosea (Romaleidae: Romaleinae: Leguini). All the features of the head look correct to me and the limited range includes Brasilia. Better late than never? Regards. Karl
Letter 50 – Unknown Lubber Grasshopper from Nicaragua
Subject: large neon orange and yellow locust from Ometepe
Location: Ometepe Island, Rivas, Nicaragua (near Playa Santo Domingo)
August 12, 2012 7:46 pm
Hello What’s That Bug Staff,
I was recently (August 2012) on Ometepe Island Biological Reserve in Rivas, Nicaragua where it is in the middle of the rainy season. While walking to Playa Santo Domingo through an area that looked like it had been cleared for agriculture, i stumbled across this absolutely beautiful gigantic neon orange and yellow locust that was sitting out in the open on a plastic bag. In retrospect, I should’ve taken more pictures of it, but I was afraid the bright colors and the fact that it was boldy sitting out in the open suggested that it was poisonous or toxic and I didn’t want to get too close. Would like it to be identified if possible. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Signature: Sincerely, Jay from San Francisco.
Dear Jay from San Francisco,
This is really a beautifully colored Grasshopper and we are relatively certain it is a Lubber Grasshopper in the genus Taeniopoda, though we have not had any luck pinning down a species identification for you. We did find a matching image on the SkeieScapes Nicaragua Photo Gallery website, but alas, it is not identified. You need to scroll down the page to find the image. We continued to research and we found a similar looking but very drably colored photo on americaninsects.net and it is identified as Taeniopoda auricornis and this information is provided: “Taeniopoda species are found in Mexico and Central America, with one species only crossing into the far southwestern United States. Many of the species in this genus prefer arid habitats, but there are a number of exceptions, like the species shown here, photographed in and a damp habitat in Central America. Taeniopoda auricornis is one of the more robust members of the genus, and is paler than most of its congeners. ” The species found in the Southwest portion of the United States is the Horse Lubber Grasshopper, Taeniopoda eques, and you can read about it on BugGuide. Though it makes sense that the coloration of your species might be aposomatic or warning coloration, we could not find any reference to the members of the genus being either poisonous or foul tasting.
Update: April 21, 2015
We received a comment that this appears to be Taeniopoda gutturosa, but we are having trouble locating an online image. We did find a black and white image on Orthoptera Species File that looks very similar.