Lubber Grasshopper
Romalea guttata
 

Periodically, grasshoppers have been of economic importance, but a few species sometimes occur in large enough numbers to cause serious damage to citrus, vegetable crops and landscape ornamentals. One of the species most commonly causing damage is the eastern lubber grasshopper. The Lubber Grasshopper is limited to the southeastern and south central portion of the United States. The northern boundary is central North Carolina west through southern Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas.

The lubber is surely the most distinctive grasshopper species within the southeastern United States. It is well known both for its size and its unique coloration. The wings offer little help with mobility for they are rarely more than half the length of the abdomen. This species is incapable of flight and can jump only short distances. Mostly the lubber is clumsy and slow in movement and travels by walking and crawling feebly over the earth.

Adult males and females are usually 1 to 3 inches long (females are larger). The body is robust while the legs remain relatively slender. The general color of an adult is dull yellow with varying degrees of black spots and markings. The front pair of wings are yellow with numerous scattered black dots, while the hind wings, when exposed, reveal a bright red/rose coloration with a black border.

The color also varies throughout most of the insect’s range. One phase is nearly entirely black with a few marks of tawny yellow.

 

 

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