Plains Lubber Grasshopper

What’s this huge colorful grasshopper?
August 24, 2009
We found these large colorful grasshoppers in the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park, Texas. But identification stumped everyone we asked. We also saw a smaller, more tan/less colorful version that we did not get a picture of. Possibly the female?
Rebecca, Amelia and Sylvia
Big Bend National Park, Texas

Plains Lubber Grasshopper
Plains Lubber Grasshopper

Dear Rebecca, Amelia and Sylvia,
This beautiful grasshopper is a Plains Lubber Grasshopper, Brachystola magna.  It is also called a Homesteader or Western Lubber Grasshopper according to BugGuide.  BugGuide also indicates it has a :  “Two-year life cycle, with eggs requiring two overwintering periods before hatching.”  Actually, the female is the larger individual in most grasshoppers.

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