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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Grasshopper revisited


Back in midsummer we mused on how cute grasshopper nymphs can be, and wondered how destructive their future selves would be. Here's a late-instar nymph (technical term for a teenager)(you can see the wing buds just in front of the hind legs--a fully mature hopper's wings cover the abdomen) with some representative foliage damage on cestrum Newelii.

Grasshopper populations, like those of many agricultural pests, tend to build up in response to favorable weather conditions. Here in Tustin last winter we had plenty of rain and mild temperatures, which would be favorable; but the spring was cool and summer not very hot at all (both less favorable, but not especially unfavorable). The absence of very cold or freezing winter temperatures would result in higher survival among the overwintering adult population, and possibly the eggs laid in the previous autumn. In fact, we have not had a hard freeze here in many years, and we believe that trend is contributing to changes in both the types (notably the giant whitefly) and numbers of insects in our area. But since no one really is counting, a lot of this kind of talk is just speculation. Why isn't anyone counting?

How to save your crops from certain destruction by grasshoppers then? Read these IPM guidelines for grasshopper control for some good pointers. Integrated pest management (IPM) is a system of agriculture that views the farm or garden as an ecosystem, and seeks to prevent or reduce pests and their damage by managing the dynamics of the system. All the while recognizing that the grasshoppers are on the job 24/7, while the gardener must take time out to blog.

37 comments:

todd vodka said...

I loved this. Thanks for sharing your passion. Oddly enough, I saw a lovely Praying Mantus yesterday.

R2K said...

YES! Finally a natural history blog makes it to the top blogs list! :)

R2000

Watz said...

This is really great!
I'm looking forward to reading more from you.

RANSON WEATHER PROPHET said...

I LIKE YOUR SITE HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A PICTURE OF A PRAYING MANTIS EATING A HUMMINGBIRD?

Tori said...

Are you a general bug expert? Cos I'm trying to find out about a bug I saw when I was on holiday in France a few weeks ago - it was huge, flying and looked like something out of 'Men in Black'. Haven't got a clue what it is, but it was quite scary!

intheloop said...

TORI it might have a giant locust that escaped the military genetic testing facility. LOL

Ana said...

Cool Site!!!

Pat Kirby said...

I love insects. Found this site by accident in the Blogger's listing. The writing is fresh and vibrant and the topic is fab.

Keep up the good work!

Sue said...

Really interesting, specially your comment (and link) about the need for counting and observing. I'll be coming back to read more. Like Todd, I too saw a praying mantis. He's been around a few days on my chain link fence. Will have to swipe my husband's digital camera. I'm interested in finding other natural science sites since I have lots of plant and animal related questions!

awtproductions said...

www.awt-productions.com! check it out!

kontan said...

i love your bugs! testing a new camera this morning, i took a pic of a green walking stick like mantis thing hanging out on my patio door. sorry, i dont know bugs...but i posted it on my blog if anyone wants to tell me its real identity, lol.

Biotress said...

After looking at all the pictures, I'll admit I am slightly bugged. It was the spider that got to me. But it's an interesting blog.

Cindy said...

Wow, another bug-blogger, and right here in O.C.!! At the risk of appearing shamelessly "spammy", I'd like to invite you to visit my insect themed blog. I don't know how to make a link to it from here, (which further proves I'm not a spammer!) But look for Bug Safari on my profile page.

Looking forward to your future posts!

chippy said...

My latitudes are a bit northern for bugs, but the butterflies still come!
http://seandeye.blogspot.com/

Karolyn said...

Your Photos are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

ahumm cough cough still boring

juliojdavid said...

very nice blog...

Anonymous said...

I not really into bugs but it's vivid and I like the thought.

R2K said...

Ever see insects under the microscope? :) One word: perfection.
R2000

Myranbus said...

Hmm.. To begin with I almost closed this blogg at once when I started to look at all these tiny bugs.. the spiders is the worst..I promise you that a very heay chill went through my tiny body.. As you probably understand so is bugs and snakes a nightmare for me... BUT.. then I took a big breath and started to READ, and suddenly I had forgotten about all the (to me) scary pictures, and realy enjoyed your text.

So.. From sweden, with realy bad spelling I just wanted to tell you that this was a great blogg that I most definitely will visit again.

Take care and have a great weekend! /camilla

Amit Chhangani A.K.A. Andy said...

Hi, was great to visit your blog. Do you blog on a regular basis?? You can also visit my blog at
http://360.yahoo.com/enzo_maverick
Bye and see you
Amit

AmeriKaKanKare said...

Hey, keep bugging me any time. I love this blog. Keep up the good work. I will do this with my kids.

Ruth & T.C. said...

Hi, very interesting blog. I really cant say I like bugs, but I do like yours :) I am a dog lover and I have 3 of them.

Rob said...

This was very exciting to see someone with such a passion for what uis already around us!!

From Rob
Praise The Grasshopper

Charles24 said...

I like this blog too. I dont like bugs at all I'll gladly squish some if somebody goes EEEEE!

Alex Ludd said...

Thank you for not posting a blog about pictures of your cat.

Christie said...

Oh, this is awesome! I was wondering why not more entomophiles had blogs.

Hi, I'm Christie. I'm a professional bug geek...er...student of entomology up in Ontario. I love your photos.

Colleen Vesperman said...

Hello you little bugger,

I only happened to notice your blog because it was on the front page and your title peeked my curiosity. I, too, find bugs quite interesting. I used to catch all sorts of bugs when I was younger and at one point used to enjoy catching bugs for spiders to eat after I had thrown them in their webs. Sound cool! Anyways, I don't catch too many bugs anymore, but I do enjoy watching them live in my garden and I like your articles and definitely your pictures.
Keep educating!

www.colleenvesperman.com

Hans said...

Hi, We found a lost grasshopper in our garden the othter day.
We live in the Netherlands and grasshoppers like these are hard to find. It's problably the cold the don't like. :)

http://www.postelmans.nl/2005/08/groen-monster.html

Chuck Dawson said...

Hey man, I love nymphs, man!

hippo_pepperpot said...

I love your blog! I love all living creatures.... I catch spiders and release them...sho bees out of the house... move slugs and snails from the pavement so they won't get stepped upon.

crusher said...

hey anonymous, stop being a bitch and show yourself.

Stardust said...

I hate bugs, but your site makes me love them! ^^ Awsome sight!

charles blunt said...

I found your blog very interesting . On my walk this morning there were hundreds of grasshoppers on the side walk .Your photos are really fantastic.

Hat Girl said...

Am enjoying your blog. I like bugs. I had some phasmids that I really enjoyed. E.T.'s from Australia were my favorites.

Dottie said...

We are desperate! Grasshoppers have decimated our container tomatoes, flowers, etc. We can never see one! Where can I get info about grasshopper murder!!!!

email: qwer80@roadrunner.com

Dottie said...

Help- we are desperate. Grasshoppers have decimated all our container vegetables, especially the tomatoes. Also some flower leaves for dessert!

How can we control them when we can't find them??? Is there any spray that will kill them??