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Mean green eating machine

Mean green eating machine
Photo Information
Copyright: AC van Dyk (Dyker) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-05-01
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 300D, Sigma 70-300 DG Macro
Exposure: f/11, 1/125 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Camouflage [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-05-05 8:30
Viewed: 5846
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Stick grasshopper
Acrida acuminata

This photo of the Stick grasshopper I took in the patch of veld right behind my home early one morning. This last couple of months, since I’ve been introduced to Trek Nature, this place has turned out to be my little escape retreat where I now regularly take a walk in search of something to photograph. The area includes a small pond, open grass, an old worked out quarry, and it is right next to a black wattle plantation, which maybe are not much of a natural attribution, but none-the-less it aids to attract numerous insects, reptiles, and birds. I never used to visit this place before, but suddenly I look with new eyes at everything in this little nature jewel of mine. Just shows what change TrekNature has made in me.

I hope I got the species identification right as it took me quite a whiles and a lot of Internet surfing to figure out this one. If anyone could perhaps verify or correct me, please do so.

Classification: Neoptera – Orthoptera – Caelifera – Acrididea.

Family: AcrididaeShort-horned grasshoppers, locusts.

The largest and most familiar grasshopper family, recognised by short and stout antennae, wings in most adults, and a hearing organ (tympanum) on each side of the abdomen, The egg-laying tube of the female is short and usually concealed, as are the male genitalia. Herbivorous, favouring a range of grasses and often consuming more even than antelope and cattle (up to 130kg of grass yearly per hectare). Nevertheless, most species are habitat-specific. Hind legs usually have pegs, which, when rubbed against a strengthened vein in the fore wing, make the characteristic chirping call. There are 356 species known from the region, incorporated in 13 subfamilies.

Genus: Acrida - Species: acuminata.

Identification: Large (body length 66mm), elongate, green or straw-coloured (occasionally striped). Slender nymphs, resembling small mantids.

Biology: Common breeding cycle in which sexually immature adults survive the dry season and lay eggs in response to the first rains. Eggs hatch simultaneously and nymphal development is completed during the rainy season. Adults present for a few summer months only. Female lays eggs in groups in sandy areas mixed with a frothy substance, producing a very long egg pod with a hard wall. Feeds on various long, though and soft grasses. Flies readily, making a loud crackling noise (louder in females) by rubbing the wings together.

Habitat: Widespread in fairly long grass in open or sandy habitats in the region and in Central Africa, rarely in gardens.

Status: Common, pests.

Related species: Locally, there are 7 species in the genus.

Field Guide to Insects of Southern Africa

SkyF, taba, ramthakur, jcoowanitwong, Ken52, jmp, angybone, loot, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To batu: CamouflageDyker 1 05-06 17:08
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-05-05 9:09]

Hi Ac,
what a surpise I got when I opend this shot, this insect did not show very well on the thumb. Great shot, the details are excellent. Excellent DOF with perfect sharpness, which does show this well camoulflaged insect off very well.

  • Great 
  • taba Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 466 W: 124 N: 312] (1847)
  • [2007-05-05 9:20]

Hi Ac
very good capture and composition,
fantastic DOF, POV and sharpness
I liked the greens in this picture.
well done.

  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2007-05-05 10:52]

Quel étonnant mimétisme ! encore faut-il la voir !
Bonne journée.

Very interesting Grasshopper, van Dyk.
The camouflage colour of the insect matches the vegetation to perfection.
The image is very sharo and clear.
Curiously enough, I also shot a grasshopper with a similar body shape last year in Delhi, India. You can have a look at it here, if you so wish.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-05-05 14:46]
  • [+]

Hello both, AC rida AC uminata,
the insect and your initials are efficiently camouflaged. Very well observed and nicely presented in natural colours. Fine details can be seen on the surface of the 'hopper'.
Best wishes, Peter

Hi Ac,
I saw only green color in thumbnail. Great camouflage. Exposure and color saturation are excellent. TFS.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-05-07 22:07]

Hello A C

A very impressive display of camouflage .This image is super sharp and well focused.The details are wonderful.The colours are well saturated.Excellent notes.TFS


  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-05-15 0:03]

What an amazing example of nature's camouflage! Exposure is excellent with deep greens well saturated. Focus is razor sharp. Interesting post and very nice POV.

Hi AC ,
what a nice image with amazing colours.
well composed and excellent sharpness.
very well captured.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-05-19 7:24]

Hi AC,
Quite beautiful grasshopper captured with exact focus, great details and very nice, natural colours. I like it a lot!
TFS, José M.

What a fascinating insect! I marvel at the various shapes and sizes of the world's insects. WOW!
Wonderful clarity and great contrasts which is proven by the differentiation of the various greens, varying only subtly.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2007-11-29 0:26]
  • [3]


Sorry, but I just noticed that through some strange twist of fate I never critiqued you on this shot. Maybe it was actually good so because now I could see how long ago it was since you last posted a photo. Wake up china...it is time that you share some of those lovely insect shots that you keep hidden on your PC.

I like this shot of the stick grasshopper, although I don't like these grasshoppers in real life. They can actually kick up quite a racket at night when I try to sleep. For some strange reason I regularly have one of these critters right outside my sleeping room window and the monotonous sound gets to one after a while. Anyway, you have managed well to isolate this all-green insect from all the other surrounding green foliage. The details are well defined and very sharp, the composition is well set up, the colours are natural, and the DOF covered the full range of the insect.

Very well done and TFS.

PS. Remember, I mean it. I wan't to see a new posting pronto (chuckle).

Hallo AC
I am still searching for the identity of my grasshopper I posted a while ago and while browsing through the gallery of grasshoppers I picked up this spectacular one of yours. It is truly amazing, and I must congratulate you on the excellent photography applied. Talk about an excellent camouflage artist. That’s him here. The green of the both the hopper and the leaves are just beautiful and what more can I say than: "I am actually green with jealousy" Thanks for sharing this superb image. I must admit of all the ones I have seen this one is the most sharp detailed one.
Kind regards

Excellent capture with fantastic clarity, focus and splendid colours

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