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Egyptian Grasshopper

Egyptian Grasshopper

Egyptian Grasshopper

This is a photograph of an Egyptian Grasshopper in the Rain

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Large and impressive, the Egyptian Grasshopper is a common species around the Mediterranean. The adult female Egyptian Grasshopper can reach a length of 65mm. In fact, they are so large, when in flight; they can often be mistaken for a bird. The male is smaller, growing to around 35mm. The antennae of both sexes are relatively short and robust. The spiny projections on the underside of the legs help the insect to cling to vertical surfaces. The adults are generally grey, brown or olive coloured with variable patterns that allows them to camouflage themselves against tree bark and other vegetation and when they catch sight of you they will move slowly to the opposite side of their ‘perch’, hoping to avoid detection. This grasshopper is vegetarian; essentially feeding on leaves and a single insect will cause very little damage. It is a solitary species and not harmful to crops. They can be told apart from other grasshoppers by the diagnostic vertical striped pattern in their eyes, which is visible at all growth stages. Eggs are laid in the spring just under the soil surface. The young grasshoppers are tiny when they first emerge as nymphs and can be found in a variety of colours including bright green and even a pale orange, a selection of which may be found feeding communally. The growing grasshoppers will undergo several moults during their first months; in the early stages the wings are only visible as tiny wing buds that enlarge gradually at each moult. It is not until they go through their last moult to adulthood that the wings develop fully. The Egyptian Grasshopper is occasionally found in Britain, having been imported on trucks laden with vegetables and plants. PS: the bottom photograph of the “Grasshopper In The Rain” won the Pixie Photographer Of The Year in 2013.