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Mature Lubber Grasshopper - Romalea microptera - male

Mature Lubber Grasshopper - Romalea microptera - Male
White City, Florida along a narrow river, Treasure Coast County, Florida, USA
May 30, 2006
Size: Approx 3.5 inches
This is the location where I'd photographed a large population of immatures a few weeks earlier. The numbers of mature were not as many but there were quite a few around. This is one of many pictures I captured. They're quite photogenic aren't they? colourful. I don't know how to identify the difference between male and female. Any help here? Thanks!

Images of this individual: tag all
Mature Lubber Grasshopper - Romalea microptera - male Mature Lubber Grasshopper - Romalea microptera - male Mature Lubber Grasshopper - Romalea microptera - male

Sexing Orthoptera
Adult (even some near-adult) females generally have a specialized structure for depositing eggs called an ovipositor that sticks out from the tip of the abdomen at the rear end.

There are also sometimes a pair of spikes or other pointy things sticking out on either side called cerci (one is a cercus, two or more are cerci). Cerci are seen on both the males and females, so you could be led astray if you mistake a male's cerci for an ovipositor.

The shape and position of the cerci or ovipositor can sometimes help in identification- so it helps to have a view that shows the end of the abdomen.

Chuck is correct, but that applies only to katydids and crickets, not to short-horned grasshoppers like this one. Generally, in Acrididae and related families, females are much larger than males, more robust at least, and the abdomen tapers at the tip. Males are usually smaller, leaner, and have a much blunter tip to the abdomen. In some cases the tip is actually swollen, accomodating the claspers and all his other hardware. Still, it takes a practiced eye. Wait until you see a few mating, and the differences will become more, um, graphic, to speak:-) Keep up the great work, and thanks for sharing!

Moved to correct page
- you can post to the species level when you know the ID. See Help page if you need details.

Sorry I can't help with the male/female question. Nice portrait!

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