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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Horse Lubbers

We've been inundated with these Grasshoppers this year. I don't know why they are called Horse Lubbers, or even what a Horse Lubber is (sounds illegal), but evidently when there's enough rain the eggs hatch and you get great swarms of these things. This one was in a bin out by the water tank this morning. They are about two and a half inches long.

The dogs love them. They make great toys. Unfortunately, they are also 'toxic' and make the dogs sick when they eat then. We've had a couple get quite sick, with vomiting and lethargy, after eating one. For a while we would grab them up and toss them over the fence (the Grasshoppers, not the sick dogs), but they just come back, so now they get squished and tossed over the fence. Only other Horse Lubbers will eat the carcasses, the ants and other bugs don't touch them. They are supposed to taste bad, proving that dogs have no taste buds. Or perhaps the wriggly crunchy texture is too good to pass up.

They are really quite pretty, and have lovely crimson wings that they use for display. This one is a male; the females have bigger butts and smaller wings.

Here is a blog with much nicer pictures, and some pictures of their open wings.

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