Grasshopper from Costa Rica

Subject: Costa Rica unusual antennae grasshopper
Location: Cahuita, Costa Rica
April 26, 2013 11:46 am
I haven’t been able to identify this critter beyond probably immature, probably Acrididae. When I first saw it, I couldn’t even figure out which part was the head. Some photos are out of focus, but I included them for general anatomical shapes.
Photographed in Caribbean foothills of the Talamanca range, near Cahuita, Limon, Costa Rica in late February, late afternoon on the mossy side of a tree about eye level. I’m guessing it was about 2 cm long.
Signature: Karin


Dear Karin,
We did a quick search of Costa Rican Grasshoppers on the internet, and we came up blank.  Meanwhile, we have contacted Piotr Naskrecki who is an expert on Katydids.  We thought he might be able to assist with this different Orthopteran group.

Autoreply from Piotr Naskrecki
THIS IS AN AUTOMATIC REPLY: I will be in Mozambique until June 2nd, 2013. During this time I will have limited access to e-mail. I will respond to your message as soon as I can.

Information Courtesy of Karl
November 12, 2013
Hi Daniel and Karen:
This nymph is a variety of Lubber grasshopper (Romeleidae) in the subfamily Romaleinae and tribe Procolpini. I photographed the same or very similar grasshopper nymph in the Arenal region of Costa Rica in 2010 (photo attached), and identifying it turned out to be far more challenging than I would have expected for such a distinctive insect. I eventually decided that the genus was Munatia. The genus has only two species, M. punctata and M. biolleyi, both of which are present in Costa Rica. I used the keys and descriptions provided by Rowell (1998) to identify my grasshopper as M. biolleyi. The color of Karen’s grasshopper doesn’t quite match the descriptions provided by Rowell for either Munatia species (base color should be some shade of brown or green) but it is essentially identical to my nymph and Rowell’s descriptions in all other respects. Based on the Caribbean location of Karen’s photo and several key anatomical features (e.g., shape of the pronotum and the presence of a small but prominent white tubercle in the middle of pronotum) I believe it be M. biolleyi as well. Hopefully Piotr can eventually provide confirmation or an alternative identification. Regards.  Karl

Grasshopper:  Munatia biolleyi
Grasshopper: Munatia biolleyi

Thanks Karl,
Your knowledgeable research is always appreciated.

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