Pyrgomorph Grasshopper

Taphronota calliparea

a Pyrgomorphidae grasshopper observed at Naiberi River Camp, Kenya, Oct. 14, 2010. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed at Naiberi River Camp, s.e. of Eldoret, Kenya, Africa. October 2010. Elevation 2300 meters. This specimen is an immature or nymph. Identification as Taphronota calliparea was kindly provided by Claudia Hemp.

This brightly colored grasshopper was easily observed as it basked quietly in the Sun on an exposed leaf. On my approach it barely moved considering my attention a mere annoyance rather than a threat. The behavior of this insect is related to the fact that its body a laced with toxic compounds that would be very noxious if not lethal to an insectivore. Bright colors are another indication that this hopper is heavily defended.

The grasshopper shown here is an immature. At maturity it will have fully developed wings capable of flight.

Pyrgomorphidae -- a Grasshopper Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 6 Dec. 2010.