Mating Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers from South Africa

Subject:  Beautiful grasshopper/locust
Geographic location of the bug:  Maropeng, Cradle of Humankind Visitor Centre
Date: 10/13/2018
Time: 03:27 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
We have just returned to the UK from a fabulous holiday in South Africa, during which we saw the locust/grasshoppers shown in the attached photos.  Could you identify it please.  We were outside the lower exit of the Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng at about 15:30 on 22 October 2018.  It was warm (~32C) and dry.  Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  David Gittens

Mating Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers

Dear David,
These are mating Toxic Milkweed Grasshoppers in the family Pyrgomorphidae, probably
Phymateus leprosus based on this iSpot image.  The colors are variable, but generally they are aposomatic, meaning they are warning colors, a survival strategy employed by many insects that feed on milkweed.

Hi Daniel
Many thanks for the ID and fascinating information.  Although I have a great interest in wildlife in general I know very little about this category of insect, let alone those from RSA.  I had discounted the Toxic Milkweed Grasshopper on its colouration even though I wondered if it might have been in a breeding ‘plumage’.
Thanks again

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