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Giant Grasshopper

Giant Grasshopper
Photo Information
Copyright: Colin McQueen (McQueenca) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 131 W: 11 N: 226] (1387)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-01-21
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 7D, Canon Macro EF 180mm 1:3.5 L
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/100 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-02-23 7:07
Viewed: 5053
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I captured these mating Giant Grasshoppers near my Daughter's house in Redcliffe. I have never seen Grasshoppers this big, they really caught me off guard. This female was a full 90mm (3.5") The largest I have seen in Canada isn't even half that size.

Valanga irregularis

Description of adult
The giant grasshopper is the largest of the short horned (antennae) grasshoppers in Australia, with adults growing up to 90 mm long. Adults are creamy brown to grey. Their colouration and markings are extremely variable, hence the species name (irregularis). Giant grasshoppers have enlarged hind legs used for jumping and short antennae. They have a spur or peg on the throat between the forelegs. Adults can be distinguished from the spur-throated locust (Austracris guttulosa) by their larger size, the absence of a white stripe along the top of the body, the blacked-tipped orange to red spines on the hind leg tibia (instead of black tipped white spines) and two dark marks on the top of the hind femura in both adults and nymphs.

Immature stages
Eggs are 5-6 mm in length and are laid in pods up to 90 mm deep in moist soil. The pods consist of up to 150 eggs at the bottom of the tubular hole with a frothy plug from the top of the eggs up to the soil surface. The frothy plug has a less dense area up the centre and, at hatching, hoppers escape by moving up this centre. Nymphs (hoppers) are pale green and wingless on hatching. They later develop a black stripe down the middle of their back and the green colour may change to light brown as they approach the adult (winged) stage.

Life history
Eggs are deposited in October-November. There are seven nymphal stages before adulthood is reached.

Nymphs are present from September to March and adults from April to November. No breeding takes place during winter. There is one generation per year.

This grasshopper is native to tropical and subtropical Australia and is found throughout Australia from about Sydney north.

Host range
The giant grasshopper feeds on a wide range of shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants including hibiscus, coffee and citrus.

Giant grasshoppers feed mainly on foliage and sometimes on very young coffee berries. They are often very patchy with concentrations of nymphs close to where they emerged from the soil.

Deep feeding gouges on very young berries heal to disfiguring chalky-white scars.

Edges of leaves and tips of shoots are chewed.

Source: Australian Government Dept. of Agriculture

ramthakur, CeltickRanger, maaciejka, Marco2010, jusninasirun, aruntp, anel, bungbing has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Those are truly very big Grasshoppers, Colin.
Superb capture of them mating.
Awesome details on the subjects.
Thanks and regards.

hello Colin
Very nice picture to see many details
good light and great sharpness
the colours are beautiful
thanks for the nice comments
greeting lou

Hello Colin,
Nice couple captured with excellent sharp details and clarity.
Thanks and my regards,

  • Great 
  • senn Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 2 N: 155] (1384)
  • [2013-02-23 7:38]

excellent capture here mate, .. skilfully lit, composed and backgrounded, .. like this

Hello Colin

Excellent timing photo of these Grasshoppers in
their loving action, great focus, sharpness, details,
beautiful background light and background bokeh, TFS


Hello Colin,
What a beautiful picture!!!!!Sharpness and soft light is really outstanding.Well captured Colin.
Thanks for sharing such big Grasshoppers.
Kind regards,

Hello Colin,
This a huge grasshopper...Colin! An excellent capture with fine coloration, details & POV. Nice composition & presentation. TFS & best wishes!


  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2013-02-23 7:57]

Hi Colin,
A lovely capture of this Grasshopper couple ..
Great details and sharpness. POV/DOF, composition very nice.
Have a nice weeknd,

Ciao Colin, great mcro of fantastic maiting couple, fine details, splendid sharpness and wonderful natural colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Colin,
what a nice photo of these grasshoppers. Amazing composition. Nice presentation.
Have a nice weekend,

Ciao Colin.
Splendida macro con dei meravigliosi colori,grande nitidezza con notevoli dettali,bella la composizione.
Ti auguro una buona domenica ciao Marco.
Grazie della condivisione.

照的很清晰 也很美麗

Very nice picture of mating Giant Grasshoppers.
Colin you chose a good angle for this pic.
very perfect colour, composition and clarity.
best wishes,

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2013-02-23 17:55]

Hello Colin,
A superb shot of these two very large grasshoppers. You have captured them in exceptional detail and beautiful natural colors. I don't believe I have ever seen any of this attractive creamy brown color. I would imagine this particular color phase would make them almost invisible when resting on the bare soil.
I share your excitment as I also witnessed some really huge grasshoppers this year for the first time here in Ohio. They were Bird Grasshoppers which can reach a length of 4 inches.

Hello Colin.
Great shot capturing the copulating grasshoppers. The smaller male is well displayed with the image exposing vivid details.
Thanks and have a great WE.

Hello Colin
Interesting subject and beautiful photo with wonderful lighting and very good sharpness.

  • Great 
  • aruntp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 590 W: 1 N: 357] (5379)
  • [2013-02-23 23:06]

wonderful closeup. nicely presented in excellent angle. good work. tfs.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-02-23 23:07]

Hello Colin
Exciting composition of thus mating grasshopper.
The low eye level is very effective.and pleasant.excellent presentation.


Hello Colin,even taking into account their size this is a most impressive macro shot that has quality written all over it.
A lovely photograph.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2013-02-24 5:56]

Hello Colin,
An impressive grasshopper female with her 9cm size. We don't have species with this large dimension here. And you have caught the couple! A good color-contrast with the green background. An interesting posting. Thanks a lot!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2013-02-26 13:27]

Hello Colin,
Great macro of this mating couple. Very beautiful light and splendid colours. Excellent sharpness, details and taken from the best POV. Nice contrasting background.

  • Great 
  • IronM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 3 N: 345] (2608)
  • [2013-02-27 1:12]

Hi Colin,
excellent capture of these mating grasshoppers,
outstanding details, well composed, perfect BG, great use of flash !
Best regards !

Hello Colin,
A very good sharp photo of this couple, very well exposure and nice background, very well seen and nicely done,
Thank for sharing and have a nice afternoon,
Best Regards,

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