fantastically colourful insects are commonly known
as MALAY GHOST GRASSHOPPERS
and they originate from south east Asian
countries including Malaysia and Thailand.
can see above they do have the most wonderful
combination of colours, from a yellow/green/black
head to green wings covered in yellow spots to a
very distinctive orange and black banded abdomen!
These colours are used as a 'danger' warning to
predators so that they will not attempt to eat these
insects so, whereas many species of grasshopper use
their colours for camouflage and to stay hidden
away, these insects are not trying to stay concealed
'danger' which these grasshoppers present is in the
form of a chemical defence system based on chemicals
found in their native foodplant. In captivity,
where they are eating non-toxic plants such as oak
and bramble leaves, they do not have a dangerous
chemical defence system but can still create a froth
of bubbles from behind their head if they are
disturbed or feel threatened at all.
Apparently this froth smells like peanuts, something
I have not yet experienced!
Thankfully they are
reluctant to jump when handled carefully, making
them another fantastic addition to my insect
On the morning of February
5th 2012 I had an exciting find when I discovered
first ever babies (nymphs) of this species had
hatched! Here is one of the tiny nymphs (about
7mm long) shortly after hatching.
21st I found another hatch of nymphs and it was
amazing to see that the ones which hatched just 16
days earlier (like the one on the left below) were
already significantly larger than those which had
just hatched (on the right):
below are just a very tiny selection of the moulted
exoskeletons (exuviae) moulted by the nymphs so far
as at March 12th 2012!
just one moulted exuvia, you can clearly see the
grasshopper shape in this one!
pictures will follow here as the nymphs continue to
grow and change in the coming weeks...