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Most children are fascinated with grasshoppers. The grasshopper pictured is the Romalea guttata, or eastern lubber grasshopper (or just "lubber grasshopper"). It is the most distinctive species that thrives in the southeastern and south central portion of the United States. Reaching nearly 3 inches (8 cm), it is well known both for its size and its unique coloration.
Like all insects, this species of grasshopper will go through several stages. When in the nymph stage (youth), it is much smaller than in the adult stage, wingless and completely black with one or more yellow, orange or red stripes. In the adult stage, they reach 2.5–3 inches (64–76 mm), grow wings half the length of their body and become either a dull yellow often characterized by black spots and markings, a bright orange with black markings, or entirely black (as in the nymph stage) with yellow or red striping. In the black adult color phase, the grasshopper is widely known by the name "diablo" or "black diablo". In Louisiana, they are known as the Devil's Horse or cheval-diable. Some may even call it the "graveyard grasshopper".
Romalea guttata occurs west of North Carolina to Tennessee, in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas, and throughout Florida and Arizona. They live in open pinewoods, weedy vegetation and weedy fields. Sometimes these grasshoppers live in sewers, since grass and other food sources accumulate there.
This insect has many ways of defense. The first is its brightly colored warning pattern (aposematism). The insect can emit a foul-smelling and foul-tasting foamy secretion from the thorax when it is disturbed which is dark colored and opaque. It also lets off a loud hissing sound that can scare animals. (Wikipedia)
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