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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Grasshopper synchronicity

In 2005, the date of the first greybird grasshopper (Schistocerca nitens) nymph observance in my sphere of influence was June 24. This little guy perched on a lavender flower was the first one noticed in 2006, photographed on June 26. Apparently the differences in weather we perceived between the two years did not have much effect on the first emergence of this species.

The one peeking out from behind its nasturtium meal was taken on July 8.

Nymphs continue to emerge. This last one on to
p of a pumpkin flower was taken yesterday. It's missing its left hind leg already, maybe a close call with a spider. These guys are avid herbivores, and I like to call 'em the tiny green grasshoppers of destruction, even though they are nothing like as bad as their close relatives, Schistocerca gregaria which are the locusts spoken of in biblical accounts and continue to plague Africa today. If Greybird grasshoppers plague your garden, you can help control their numbers by cultivating the soil around your perennials in late spring/early summer to disturb the egg cases.

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