Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera)
This is the adult Eastern Lubber Grasshopper which is found all throughout Florida. I took this picture in the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Ft. Myers. They can be found in pine-woods, weedy areas, roadsides and in wetlands which have both wet and dry surfaces. The adult Lubber is known for its bright yellow body and black spots while the baby Lubber is mostly black and has a few yellow stripes. You can see the younger version of the Lubber in one of my previous posts. I was impressed by its sturdy appearance and its outer covering which looks like a body of armor. The name lubber comes from the English word “lobre” which means lazy or clumsy and is also related to the word landlubber. The Eastern Lubber grasshopper sheds its outer skin or covering called “molting” several times during its lifetime before it reaches the adult stage. This grasshopper can be damaging to crops and gardens if they gather in large enough populations by eating the leaves of plants. There numbers are often limited by a parasitic fly whose eggs are ingested by the grasshopper and are toxic to the grasshopper. For more information about the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper you can visit the Univ. of Florida’s Featured Creatures website.
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