Southeastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea guttata)

Pricing: Dead (spread, as pictured): $20-$40 depending on sex, size and quality.
Geographic Range: Southeastern and south-central U.S.A.
View: Side View  Sex: Male
Size: Body Length: 4.5-5.5 cm (males) & 5-7 cm (females)

Availability Notes: Inquire about color forms available.

Images Copyright 2003
Barbara Strnadova

Romalea guttata - known also by the synonym Romalea microptera - is a large, lethargic grasshopper that cannot fly. It has powerful legs armed with short spines and is aposematically colored due to its toxicity when ingested (enough to make a small animal quite sick). They feed on many different herbaceous plants and can become pests if abundant. Their preferred habitat is pine-lands, weedy fields and the tangled vegetation along roadsides but they often invade gardens and yards. They can be found from central North Carolina to Florida and west through Georgia, Alabama, southern Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. These grasshoppers occur throughout the year in Florida. In the cooler parts of their range they have one generation per year, with eggs beginning to hatch in late February, and populations increasing in March. There are five instars, each lasting seven to ten days (after these five stages the nymph is considered an adult). Nymphs are dark brown and in the melanistic southern form, the adults are as well. The highest number of adults can be observed in July and August during which time many eggs are laid in soft soil. Adults are active until winter.