The eastern lubber grasshopper (Romalea microptera) belongs to the genus Romalea and the order Orthoptera. The species is native to several states of the United States, such as Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Missouri, Florida, and many more. The eastern lubber grasshopper is known by different names such as the Florida lubber and the Florida lubber grasshopper.
These insects are quite big in size, and their average length is 2.5-3 in (64-76 mm). The wings of young eastern lubber nymphs are black with several orange or yellow-colored stripes, while their bodies turn a bit dull during adulthood. The adult eastern lubber grasshopper possesses either a pale yellow body with black markings or an orange body with black spots. Some even have black bodies with mostly yellow markings.
The eastern lubber grasshopper is best known for its defensive tactics. These insects make loud hissing sounds to scare their predators. They also release foul-smelling gas when they feel threatened.
These insects are herbivores and generally prey on grasses, shrubs, herbs, broadleaf weeds, citrus plants, and vegetation while they inhabit ditches, swamps, open woodlands, and weedy fields. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has not evaluated the status of the species.
Keep on reading to learn more interesting facts about the eastern lubber grasshopper. If you want to know more exciting information about different animals, check out these Carolina mantis and wood ticks facts too!
What type of animal is an eastern lubber grasshopper?
The eastern lubber grasshopper (Romalea microptera) is an insect found primarily in different states of the south-central and southeastern United States. The grasshopper species is also known as the Florida lubber grasshopper.
What class of animal does an eastern lubber grasshopper belong to?
Eastern lubbers belong to the class of Insecta, the Romaleidae family, the order Orthoptera, and the genus Romalea.
How many eastern lubber grasshoppers are there in the world?
The exact population of eastern lubber grasshoppers is not known as of now, but these insects are found in several states of the United States.
Where does an eastern lubber grasshopper live?
Eastern lubber grasshoppers are found throughout south-central states and the southeastern United States, such as Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Arizona, and many more.
What is an eastern lubber grasshopper's habitat?
The eastern lubber grasshopper (Romalea microptera) primarily lives near citrus plants and vegetation. A typical eastern lubber grasshopper habitat can easily be found in ditches, swamps, open woodlands, and sewers as well.
Who do eastern lubber grasshoppers live with?
Eastern lubber grasshoppers generally live in groups, but some may prefer to live alone as well. Also, during the breeding season, these grasshoppers come together. The species is often found eating plants in groups.
How long does an eastern lubber grasshopper live?
This grasshopper species mainly lives for 11-12 months, and its life cycle is divided into various stages. Out of the lifespan of 12 months, it takes around 200 days to complete the full-fledged development of these grasshoppers.
How do they reproduce?
Like other species of grasshoppers, the breeding process of the eastern lubber grasshopper (Romalea microptera) goes through several stages. After becoming an adult, female eastern lubbers generally lay eggs after one month. Before breeding, both male and female adults try to attract each other through several courtship displays. These courtship displays involve dance, body movements, waving wings, and much more.
The breeding season of the species is not known yet, but in several states of the United States, one can find adults during the months of July and August. Female adults generally lay eggs during the summer months. Once the female lays eggs, for a few days, adult males protect the ovipositing females. Female grasshoppers choose the site for laying eggs, and they dig a small hole of around 1.9 in (5 cm). Around 30-50 eggs are laid by female adults. A cluster of Florida lubbers' eggs is known as a pod. An eastern lubber grasshopper baby is completely black, unlike adults, and after reaching the adult stage, a slight change can be seen in their bodies.
What is their conservation status?
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has not evaluated the status of this insect as their numbers are not of a concern. These grasshoppers can easily be found in several states of the United States, prominently in Florida.
Eastern Lubber Grasshopper Fun Facts
What do eastern lubber grasshoppers look like?
Eastern lubber grasshoppers (Romalea microptera) are quite big in size, and their average length is 2.5-3 in (64-76 mm). The wings of young eastern lubber nymphs are black with several orange or yellow-colored stripes while their bodies turn a bit dull during adulthood. An adult eastern lubber grasshopper possesses either a pale yellow body with black markings or an orange body with black spots. Some even have black bodies with mostly yellow markings.
How cute are they?
The appearance of these grasshoppers makes them slightly adorable, but one of the cutest things about this insect is its dance. Adult insects can be seen dancing during the summer season as the grasshoppers attract each other through different courtship displays. These slow-moving lubbers are also quite fascinating.
How do they communicate?
Like other grasshoppers, Florida lubbers follow the same methods of communication, such as rubbing hind legs, body movements, and more. The eastern lubber grasshopper is best known for its defensive tactics. These insects make loud hissing sounds to scare their predators. They also release a foul smell when they feel threatened. Also, through several courtship displays, adult lubbers try to attract each other.
How big is an eastern lubber grasshopper?
The average eastern lubber grasshopper size is quite big among all species of grasshoppers. The average length of lubbers is 2.5-3 in (64-76 mm) while their wings are normally half of their body length. Florida lubbers are four times bigger than the pygmy grasshopper of the Tetrigidae family.
How fast can an eastern lubber grasshopper fly?
Florida lubbers possess long wings but they cannot fly, unlike other grasshoppers of the Acrididae family. Instead of flying, Florida lubbers hop or bounce in an awkward way. These lubbers are also found crawling or walking in residential areas. They mainly jump to avoid predation.
How much does an eastern lubber grasshopper weigh?
The exact weight of these Florida lubbers is not known as of now, but their huge size resembles the western horse lubber grasshopper (Taeniopoda eques). Western horse lubbers weigh around 0.019 lb (9 g), and therefore, one can predict that the weight of Florida lubbers will be similar to this.
What are their male and female names of the species?
There are no specific names given to adult male and female Florida lubbers, however, adult female grasshoppers are slightly bigger than adult males.
What would you call a baby eastern lubber grasshopper?
A baby lubber grasshopper is called a nymph, collectively they are called nymphs.
What do they eat?
Florida lubber grasshoppers are herbivores and primarily prey on grasses, shrubs, herbs, broadleaf weeds, citrus plants, and vegetation.
Are they dangerous?
In terms of humans, Florida lubber grasshoppers are generally not harmful or poisonous, but these insects can attack if someone tries to threaten them. Apart from humans, these insects can be hazardous to small insects such as the ground beetle and the green June beetle, birds, and even animals. Through its color pattern, this insect warns its predators away, and its major defensive tactics include loud hissing sounds.
These insects also ingest substances from some vegetables or ornamental plants, which could be quite harmful to other animals, especially dogs. These chemicals would never cause death to animals but can make a dog or another animal very ill. Because of this, it is advised not to touch an eastern lubber grasshopper.
Would they make a good pet?
It might seem like these beautiful eastern lubbers could be a great option to keep as a pet as they can be spotted almost everywhere in the United States. Also, no special care or diet is required to keep them. However, these grasshoppers can be quite harmful to your other pets as the chemicals released by these lubbers could be very dangerous to other pets. Therefore they are not a good pet to keep.
Did you know...
This species is known by several different names in different states of the United States. People call these insects 'devil's horse' or 'cheval diable' in Louisiana. While in Mississippi, people often refer to them as giant locusts.
Apart from grasshoppers, several insects are included in the order Orthoptera such as crickets and locusts. Grasshoppers belong to the Caelifera suborder. There are more than 10,000 species of grasshoppers in the Acrididae family.
Many grasshoppers have the ability to change the color of their bodies to deceive their predators. Prominent among these are hooded leaf grasshoppers and stick grasshoppers.
People generally spray insecticides and use bran bait to control the population of eastern lubber grasshoppers and nymphs in their gardens. This kills the insects. Also, several birds, such as the red-backed shrike and the northern shrike, and big insects, prey on lubber grasshoppers.
Different types of grasshoppers
There are 51 types of grasshoppers found throughout the world. Prominent among these are the American bird grasshopper and the eastern lubber grasshopper of North America, the painted and tobacco grasshoppers of Asia, the small and eastern plague grasshoppers of Australia, the violent-winged grasshoppers of the South American continent, and the rufous grasshopper of Europe. Grasshoppers are known for their hops or jumps and for their appearance. These insects also make foul smells and different noises to warn their predators away.
Do eastern lubber grasshoppers fly?
Florida lubbers possess long wings but cannot fly, unlike other grasshoppers of the Acrididae family. Instead of flying, Florida lubbers hop or bounce in an awkward way. Some lubber grasshopper's wings are half the length of their abdomen.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other insects from our ambush bug facts and dobsonfly facts pages.
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