Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


TaxonomyBrowseInfoImagesLinksBooksData
Photo#3904
Black grasshopper with red trim - Romalea microptera - male

Black grasshopper with red trim - Romalea microptera - Male
Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama, USA
May 20, 2004
I have also seen these in Florida over the last month or so, in earlier stages of development. Still a juvenile - it hasn't got its wings - but this was pretty large, around 1". Trawling around for similar photos I suspect it is a lubber grasshopper (Romalea) - can anyone confirm? Not visible in this shot is a red stripe down the center of its back.

According to Wikipedia you ar
According to Wikipedia you are correct. However they have a variation in the coloring of the stripe. It can be red, orange, yellow, or gold. Also, just as a side note, when I was a child growing up in Mississippi we called them "mustard men". I have played with these for hours. Also, one more side note, they can get up to 3 inches long with wings.thorlo6

Blak Grasshoppers
We have just moved to Maplesville Alabama and my backyard is over run with these things , there are hundreds of them ... How do I get rid of them?

 
Black Grasshoppers with red stripe
I have them in Wetumpka, Alabama. I have an oleander plant on my porch. I noticed that that one of them ate on some of the leaves. Apparently, the oleander plant is poisonous to insects and can make human sick too. Well, it took a few bites of the leaves and it died about 2 feet from the plant. I suggest you get some of these plants and fertilize them so they will have plenty of leaves to chew on.

http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/top-5-poisonous-plants5.htm#page=10

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8619248

Black crickets with red lines
Coming from jackson tn,. I saw one black cricket as long as my finger with orange-red lines on it. In my front lawn. 3and a half inches at least.

Killing the Romalea
Every year, hundreds are born in and around our property. The product I use to keep kill them is Demon WP, by Syngenta, an insecticide that is water soluable. It comes in a four back sealed envelope. Use one packet per gallon per directions. Spray on the grass hoppers, no matter what age and they will die. As a barrier, I spray the grass around the house. Some will hop throught the area you've sprayed, others will eat a little of the sprayed grass and die soon. You may never kill all of them, but by killing several hundred each year helps keep them in check a little. Demon WP is also good for wood boring bumbo bees.

 
Demon WP
Where can this stuff be purchased? Thank you for your time and trouble.

Rosalee53

 
Red wasps eat them like crazy
I just filmed a red wasp (Polistes carolina) devouring one of those grasshoppers. When I made the observation there were 17 grasshoppers in one little spot feeding on a patch of Galium spp. The very next day, I frantically searched around hoping to capture a bit more of the predation sequence. I could only find 2. I am guessing the wasp had an impressive prey capture efficiency!

 
Red Wasps
When you get rid of your Black Grasshoppers. You can rid your self of Red Wasps by inviting Japanese Hornets. They kill everything for 100 yds.

need help
we have found these grasshoppers in our flowers beds. can someone help us in how we can get rid of them. thanks

 
Management guidelines
are available on the University of Florida page here (the link in my comment above no longer works).

I have these grasshoppers eve
I have these grasshoppers everywhere! And, they are eating away at ALL of my plants and flowers... help! I am located in Center, Texas which is far East Texas. They are now in my potted plants and I don't know what to use to get rid of them without killing whats left in my flower beds and ruining the soil. Any suggestions?

 
Black Grasshoppers
Go to eHow and type in: How to Kill Black Grasshoppers
There is a good article by: Sarah Coennen

black grasshopper
Found four of these in my garden last evening. This morning almost all of my lily flowers have been eaten. In 2006 saw thousands in Destrehan about 8 miles from me.

 
I too have these horrid grass
I too have these horrid grasshoppers. I kill everyone I can find. They like my lilies also. I try to be on permanent grasshopper watch and therer are much less this year. But you have to be dilligent in killing all you find as early as possible.

grasshopper
that is what it is I have them also

Lubber Grasshoppers
I live in Satsuma Al. I have been bombarded by these pest for 2 years. Last year a saw hundreds of tiny ones in a flower bed. I believe they live in the ground. Later in the year they attack and ate most of my amaryllis. The the leaves on the flowers in the bed they apparently raised in have turned brown and are no longer blooming. I have found the only way to kill them is to stomp them or
a like manner because spraying doesn't seem to deter them. If anyone can come up with a better solution respond.

 
devil horse grasshopper
Hi, So I hear your having trouble with the old devils horse...well here is the solution. Go to auto parts or WMart store and get a couple of spray cans of brake cleaner.....yeah I know,don't call PETA just between you and me..right?
Now is the time to get them while they're hatching out and are bunched ALL TOGETHER. Won't take much , be quick ,aim straight, FIRE!!
This works extremely well and may take a couple of seasons to get
infestation under control. P.S. results are instantaneous!! P.S.S. They will eat amaryllis all the way down to the tater and then some!! HAPPY HUNTING!!!
( Anniston,Al.)

Likely they are distasteful to lizards
From the IFAs site "Defensive Characteristics
Eastern lubber grasshoppers possess a variety of abilities to defend themselves. Their bright color pattern is a warning to predators that the lubber contains toxic substances. Indeed, there are several records attributing the demise of individual birds to failure to exercise caution when selecting prey items. Also small mammals such as opossums have been known to vomit violently after ingesting a lubber, and to remain ill for several hours.

If the red, yellow, and black coloration fails to keep a predator at bay, then the lubber may secrete a foamy spray from the thoracic region (the portion of the body where the legs and wings are attached.) This spray consists of a number of compounds, some of which, are irritants. This bubbly froth is accompanied by a relatively loud, frightful hissing sound. The insect contracts the abdomen to force air out of the spiracles along with the defensive secretion. The sound is produced as the spray is being forced out of these tiny holes in the thorax called spiracles. Eastern lubbers, like most all grasshoppers, can also regurgitate recently consumed plant material. This regurgitant is mostly liquid and has a dark brown color. This is commonly referred to as 'tobacco spit.' The tobacco spit is partially digested food material along with some semi-toxic compounds from the insect's crop region."

 
black grasshoppers
Thanks for the info. I'll be more selective in choosing food for my Anoles. Could releasing the little buggers into my yard pose a threat to my neighbor's garden?
snakeman707

black grasshoppers
Not a scientist, herp enthusiast from Southeast Louisiana. Friend brought me a bait bucket full of these beautiful black grasshoppers with red trim to feed to my anoles (green lizards). Lizards wouldn't touch them. Anybody know why?

black-redstriped grasshopper
i have purchased a new home in jacksonville,fl. and while i was inspecting my yard yesterday there were thousands of these grasshoppers and they have literally destroyed bushes and flowers. its like they are swarming everwhere and i really don't know how to get rid of these before i move in. they are gorgeous,but massively destructive. any suggestions

 
Grasshopper control
I suggest you read over this IFAS page about this species Romalea guttata. It suggests that handpicking at the younger (less destructive and not yet reproductive) stages may be the best control method, as predators usually avoid them. Maybe you can catch and release them along a roadside or in a vacant lot where they can chow down on plants and grasses no-one cares about.

More food for thought: Severe insect infestations are often a response to cultural problems which weaken a plant's defenses. Drought, for instance - I know we've had a pretty dry spring in my part of FL this year. The bushes may have been in bad shape before the grasshoppers moved onto them.

Most of us regularly using this site are, to say the least, very reluctant to advocate wholesale destruction of fellow-creatures. You will have to let your conscience be your guide.

juvenile Lubber Grasshopper
Yes, I think so, Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea guttata--that's the only North American species in its genus. See the bugguide account,
and Florida Featured Creatures.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

 
As I suspected
Thanks for the confirmation and references, Patrick. I had found some similar sources, but oddly they usually just mention yellow trim, whereas I have seen almost all red on these guys.
I think it might be helpful to add this to the BugGuide page, but I don't know how. The only juvenile picture there has mostly yellow too.
I like it when there's only one representative of a genus in a region - it really helps with ID!!!
Hannah N-M

 
Lubber grasshopper
My husband saw one of these in Auburn, Alabama for the first time ever yesterday. I had no idea grasshoppers came in black and had to go looking it up on the internet.

 
lubber grasshopper
We have had them for a while but only seeing them occasionally. This year, however, has been quite different. They've been plentiful. They destroyed some of my flowers. They are everywhere, the yards, the driveway and all over the road. Of course, my land does have quite a bit of trees around and moisture which I don't know if that contributes to the increase of them. But then, we've been living here for many years and they've only this year been so numerous. My 12 yr old son says the only predator he thinks they have (besides man and car) is the hummingbird that he saw u-turn in the air to eat one. What elements make for more breeding at some times more than others? Does anyone know?

 
Lubber Grasshopper
There was an article in our Montgomery Advertiser today that mentioned this grasshopper in Anniston Ala. The article reminded me of what was always in my grandmother's backyard in the summer. This was in the '60's and '70's. She lived in Sylacauga which is not too far from Anniston. She was always stomping those unusual black grasshoppers with the red stripe who would try to eat up her garden every year. They never flew and I think I remember a particular smell, or maybe it was insecticide.

Does anyone else out there have experience with these creatures?

When I was a child, I didn't know that grasshoppers were GREEN!

 
black grasshoppers
I too lived in sylacauga for a while. My Mothers yard has been infested with the black grasshoppers also. No animals were known to eat them exept for fish like bass and perch. The only way to nail down the population is to get them in early spring when they first come out of the ground and cluster together. This is the only time you can kill them in a mass at a time. I tried this for two years and it worked. Now its hard to find a single one in her yard.

 
See my message below
Hi - if you are still infested with the Lubbers, see my message below - I am looking for locations to collect these grasshoppers to be preserved for science classroom dissections. Send me an email if you have grasshoppers we could collect. Thanks!

 
Grasshoppers in Gadsden, AL
I used to catch these every summer in a churchyard by my grandmother's house. It was in Tidmore Bend, right outside of Gadsden, AL. This is close to Anniston also. I have never seen them anywhere else, except that one churchyard. I was never able to find one in the surrounding fields are yards. Are these grasshoppers very territorial?

 
Black Grasshoppers
I too am from the Gadsden area (Alabama City). When I was a child, a neighbor friend and I used to play with these as kids. These insects were very plentiful in those days. (Early 1960's) We as children were unaware of their toxicity. We were aware of the strange smell. We thought it was the tobacco.

 
I don't know about territorial
but check the info page and the links on it and you'll see they stick together in groups when young and are slow-moving as adults, so it's likely they don't go very far from where they originally hatch.

 
Devil's Horse
These are what the Old Timers call Devils Horses. They ARE, in fact eastern lubbers, and the previous scientific classification is close enough because the true taxonomy of this insect is the subject of ongoing debate.

The juveniles, or nymphs in this case are black with red, and black with yellow stripes, usually getting brown as they grow older, although this varies. Research is lacking because they do not pose a significant danger to the economy, or human well being. I suspect that the diverse phenotype of this organism is due to the unexplained phenomenon similar to that of population density phase change morphology seen in locust.

The unusual smell that you remember is a defense mechanism of the lubber, and when frightened the lubber will hiss, buzz its wings, and secrete a keytone like substance as foam. This secretion is obtained through the assimilation of plants that are normally poisonous, and converted into the noxious keytone. Strangely enough, a similar keytone is available through retailers in a crystallized form to keep cats, and dogs away from flowers.

 
Just filmed a red wasp (Polistes carolina) preying on them
I just filmed a red wasp (Polistes carolina) devouring one of those grasshoppers. The wasp had no problem with poisonous substances mentioned in this thread. When I made the observation there were 17 grasshoppers in one little spot feeding on a patch of Galium spp. The very next day, I frantically searched around hoping to capture a bit more of the predation sequence. I could only find 2. I am guessing the wasp had an impressive prey capture efficiency!

 
lubber grasshopper
Perhps they do no harm, but they are not nice to have around. In my yard and the yards to my right and my left and back, for the past week I have been on the warpath although I searched for them all spring & summer, but there are so mnay now. I kill about 60 a day in the area described. Today I killed 88!!! Easily I have killed over 500 since end of May. Now I see some mating and I am horrified. They are already beginning to lay eggs?? How long after the female has mated do they lay eggs? If we have 500 females lay 2 to 120 eggs each this year think how many thousands we'll have next year. I am frantic!! Any suggestions? graves37

 
red and black grasshopper
I have seen many of these in Western Tennessee, i like to call them................fishbait grasshoppers lol

 
Black grasshoppers
I live in western central Fla...last year I noticed these grasshoppers and they eat everything in sight first part of April I saw 100's of baby ones but didn't know that was the same bug...now they are at it again..the only way I have found to get rid of these things is to load my gun and shoot them..if anyone has a less violent way to get rid of these things please let me know.

 
vacuuming black grasshoppers
i lived in ocala a few years ago and my garden became infested with these critters. i don't think they are as voracious as other types, but there were hundreds and it totally destroyed the enjoyment of my gardens. I don't much like to use insecticide, and the thought of hand picking them was horrible. so...i got out my extension cord and my shop vacuum and sucked them off my plants. they are very slow moving, so it was easy to vacuum up a few hundred in a late afternoon session. i would then just pour them into a plastic bag and...well here is the bad part....stomp them so they wouldn't crawl out, and put them in the trash.

 
I need to collect these Lubbers!
Hello. I am with Carolina Biological Supply Company in Burlington, NC. We are one of the leading science suppliers in the US. We need to collect Lubber Grasshoppers (Romalea microptera) for science. If they are in full season in your area right now, I'd like to know where that is! We would like to collect them or pay someone else to collect them for us. Please email with any information you can give me - tammy.sadler@carolina.com. Thank you!

 
Black Grasshoppers
If you want some big mature ones, go to Saluda SC and look at the bottom of the "Richard Cash " sign for congress on HWY 178 coming out of town. I had never seen one of these before so that is why I looked them up on the internet. They are huge. Kind of Biblical looking too.

 
Lubber Grasshoppers
After Huricane Ike these lubber grasshoppers have infested my whole yard and the all of the neighbors........If someone wants them come and get them before I start spraying them with brake cleaning solution. Rosalee45@hotmail.com Thank You!!

 
TSadler: I live in Orlando o
TSadler: I live in Orlando on a resort and we have thousands that hatched 17 days ago and now measure up to 2.75 inches in length. Please let me know if you want these.

 
lubber grasshoppers
i have a lot of them in my yard in North Port, Florida, they are eating my vegetable garden and my flowers you want them let me know.

 
lubbers
I wish I knew you wanted them my yard was full of them for about 4-5 years now and we just sold our house thankfully. Because they eat everything they can. They ate all my lily's and then they started on my rose bushes they clean it and leave the stems. I would of sent you all you wanted but I haven't seen any so far. We live in East Texas.

 
collecting grasshoppers
we have just moved to the alex city area and we have a good many of the grasshoppers in our yard. we have some with red trim, some with a red dot on their backs and some with yellow like trim. so how would you collect these.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.