Shieldback Locust from South Africa

Subject: Grasshopper
Location: South Africa
December 11, 2013 10:17 am
Hi I found this grasshopper in our garden today. About 8 cm long about as thick as a man’s middle finger. Where is this garden? IN THE Kalahari Desert (South Africa) in a small town called Askham (Northern cape province) Never seen one like this before. Can you help with the identity thereof please
Signature: Banna

Shieldback Locust
Shieldback Locust

Dear Banna,
The two features that make your grasshopper really distinctive are the flattened antennae and the ridge along the thorax, and we searched unsuccessfully for some time prior to discovering iSpot Southern Africa – your place to share nature where we learned about the Shieldback Locusts in the family Pamphagidae.  There are many similar images there.  We hope a family identification is sufficient as we do not have the skills to identify your individual any further.  There is also a nice image of a winged individual on FlickR.  We don’t know if you have photographed a nymph or if it is a flightless species.

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