Panther Island Adventures!

Panther Island is 2,800 acres of restored wetland and upland habitats situated in the northwest corner of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's 13,000 acres. It is home to numerous plants and animals including the Florida panther and the iconic wood stork.
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Critter of the week Oct. 4: Lubber grasshopper

 The Eastern lubber grasshopper (Romalea microptera) is a native grasshopper that can be found in the southeastern United States. It is the only lubber found in the east. The adults (pictured above) are easily distinguished from other grasshoppers by their vivid yellow/red/black coloration. The nymph aka juvenile (pictured below) is also very distinct with its black body and red or yellow stripes. Their coloration is a warning to predators (aposematic) that they don't taste good!
This grasshopper is flightless. Adult males are smaller than the females. In the summer, females will lay 1 to 3 separate egg masses (each mass with about 50 eggs) in soil excavations measuring 5 cm deep. The eggs hatch then in the following spring. These little guys will go throught 5 instars of about 20 days each before reaching sexual maturity. Instars are basically the developmental stages between each molt.

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