Red-Knee Grasshopper

male and female green grasshopper with femur ends, f. Acrididae, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

The female is twice the size of her mate and her 'knees' are dull, not bright red. Kimunye, Mt. Kenya Forest Reserve, Kenya. June 2017.

Speculating on the function and purpose of insect patterns is a start towards developing very interesting hypotheses about behavioral ecology and evolution. In this case the base green color suggests camouflage for hiding on vegetation. But what about the white dashes or the red knees? One possibility is pattern disruption. There are hundreds of bird species and other insectivores each with different techniques and sensory capabilities. These questions will never be answered if Mt. Kenya's habitats are degraded to the point where species are wiped out through extinction.

Acrididae -- Grasshopper Family, subfamily Acridinae

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 10 April 2018.