Diapheromera covillea - Diapheromera covilleae
mother from n. side of Las Cruces, NM, Dona Ana County, New Mexico, USA
July 20, 2010
Size: about 1 cm
We've had eggs of this species hatching since late June. This one is only a few days old and has molted once. They are amazingly well camouflaged on the Creosote bushes, and when we replace the food in the cage we have to very careful to make sure we've found all of them on the old before we toss it out. They grow fast!
All the hatchlings are colored like this one, and some stay the same color until nearly mature. Others turn all shades of gray, brown, and mixes, usually always with the bases of the legs and joints of the thorax remaining reddish brown. Color is not tied to gender in the nymphs, but most females stay green and most males go a speckled brownish or grayish after several molts. When they mature the males are almost always rich light brown and females dark dull gray-brown.
Since they almost always eat their shed skins immediately, and since we aren't home most of the time, we have no idea how many molts the larger ones have undergone. It seems quite a few. We've actually only found one shed skin not eaten, and we've been rearing around thirty of these, most of them about three weeks old now. Among the easiest insects to rear I've ever attempted, and the kids are loving it.
Suspect this one is female, but not sure.
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