(Originally published as "Funky Grasshopper" on Another Monkey on Monday, August 29, 2005.)
I spotted this grasshopper hanging out in my butterfly bush this past Thursday. At first my mind only registered the fact that it was a grasshopper, but after a second or two I decided to run inside and grab my camera. I never remembered seeing a grasshopper quite like this, with a blue-green body and yellow legs covered with inverted black chevrons that made it look like it had come straight from an episode of Pimp My Exoskeleton.
A few minutes with my handy Audubon Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders (what, you thought I knew fun facts about Praying Mantises and Silver-Spotted Skippers right off the top of my head?) suggested that I had photographed a Differental Grasshopper. There are a few other possible candidates - a surprising number of different types of grasshoppers have those markings on their legs - but the Differential Grasshopper seemed like the best fit with what I had seen.
I spotted a few other interesting things in my butterfly bush this past week. You could actually do a whole nature documentary based on the things that like to lurk in or visit my butterfly bush, and you could probably get an entire season of documentaries out of looking at everything that lives in my small suburban lawn. I have a few other photos to show, but those will have to wait until I have more time.