Field Grasshopper

a small field grasshopper, f. Acrididae, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed in a recently plowed maize field at Eldoret, Kenya. December 2014. The soil is dry, red, lateritic clay.

How does a camouflaged grasshopper interpret the color variations in the substrate so as to maximize its hiding power? Does it take many generations for a local population exposed to visual predators to select for the best match between the color patterns of the insect and where it usually sits?

a field grasshopper, f. Acrididae, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

This similar example is from near Turbo, west of Eldoret, Kenya. December 2015. The soil here was gray-black.

The fringes of setae all around might serve to blur the outline of the insect thus making it more difficult for sharp-eyed birds to pick out.

Acrididae -- Grasshopper Family, subfamily Oedopodinae

More Information:


Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 9 June 2015,
updated 27 June 2016.