Contributed by Jeni Ruisch, program director, Insectary and BUGmobile
The Columbus Insectary created many bug boxes and helped with research and classes this semester as we bolstered the collection in preparation for a busy outreach season. It’s been a bustling spring in Columbus as we get ready for the second-ever summer with the BUGmobile! There are some big changes coming to the BUGmobile that debuted at Waterman Lab the first week of May, and we can’t wait for you to see them!
Eastern lubber grasshopper| Romalea microptera| entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/lubber.htm
Habitat/Range: Southeastern United States
Diet: Foliage, especially commercial salad crops (They are a common and formidable agricultural pest due to their huge appetites and lack of predators)
Lifespan: Around nine months on average, up to a year
Fun Fact: The beautiful colors on a lubber grasshopper serve as a warning of their terrible taste! Most normal predators of large arthropods, such as birds and toads, won’t touch a lubber because of their taste and toxicity. This means it’s up to humans to protect their crops from these hungry herbivores.