Hoppy Days

By staff May 1, 2005

The Eastern Lubber grasshopper can be found anywhere in Florida and can grow to be more than three inches long. It feeds on a wide variety of plant life and can be destructive if it congregates in large numbers. If alarmed, the insect spreads its wings, hisses and secretes a foul-smelling froth.

This fine specimen was found one bright morning at the Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area near Punta Gorda. He had selected a perch in a small roadside pine tree that brought him to about eye level with my camera. As I moved around the small tree to try to gain a good angle for my photo, he circled around also. This continued for a few minutes until this final standoff photo resulted without any hissing or foul smell. Soon after, he retreated safely into the depths of the pine boughs.

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