Toxic Milkweed Grasshopper from South Africa

Subject:  Locust/grasshopper
Geographic location of the bug:  Near Rhodes Village, Eastern Cape South Africa
Date: 04/13/2021
Time: 06:01 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Well-camouflaged in our only indigenous tree in this area, the Ouhout, Leucosidea sericea
How you want your letter signed:  Russell

Toxic Milkweed Grasshopper

Dear Russell,
We apologize for the late response.  We have been without connectivity for a few days but now we are back.  It is interesting that your image is of such a well camouflaged Toxic Milkweed Grasshopper, because this family is known for aposomatic or warning coloration.  We are nearly positive your individual is
Phymateus leprosus, and according to iNaturalist, the common name is the Leprous Milkweed Locust.  Grasshoppers from this family often feed on milkweed and they are able make use of the toxic properties of milkweed which makes them unpleasant tasting or possibly toxic to some species.


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