Striped Grasshopper

Morphacris fasciata

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

Observed near Mweiga, Nyeri County, Kenya. December 2015. Identification was suggested by Jacques Mestre.

Grasshoppers as adults have two pairs of wings. The first pair is leathery and covers the membranous second pair when the insect is sitting at rest. The outer leathery wings, the thorax, and even the eyes of this species are a perfect color-match for the dry grass and dark soil of grazed savanna. Notice how the fine stripes pass trough the eye, concealing it. If the disguise fails and the grasshopper sees an approaching threat it can jump and take flight. The underwings are red and will perhaps startle the predator just enough to give the hopper a split second of additional escape time.

Acrididae -- Grasshopper Family, subfamily Oedopodinae

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 16 May 2016,
updated 4 Dec. 2017.