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Horse Lubber Grasshopper (Taeniopoda eques)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Horse Lubber Grasshopper

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Image Credit: Arch Baker
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Image Credit: Kera M., taken in Jackson, TN
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The huge Horse Lubber Grasshopper grabs attention for its size, then delights with its bright pink wings.

Updated: 07/06/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Lubber grasshoppers boast a much larger size than other grasshoppers and crickets. This particular species is not the conventional brown color. Instead, it is a satiny black color with yellow bands and markings on its body. This species is known to be very social in its youth, but it eventually becomes more solitary as it matures into adulthood.

Horse Lubber Grasshoppers have a collection of visual, olfactory, and audible deterrents for would-be predators. Young Horse Lubbers have bright, fuchsia pink wings that serve as a warning to small avian predators. The contrast in color from its black body is hard to miss. The Horse Lubber Grasshopper also secretes a noxious, frothy substance from the thorax (chest region). This is also meant to deter would-be predators from trying to eat it. The grasshopper also drops to the ground and 'hisses' when it is disturbed; males even snap their forewings.

They can be found in fields, parks, on the roadside, and unfortunately on tires that run them over when they try to cross highways. They can be found in open developed areas, and they are partial to the amaryllis plant, though they do little damage to it.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Orthoptera
        Family: Acrididae
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          Genus: Taeniopoda
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            Species: eques
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Taeniopoda eques
Other Name(s): Horse Lubber
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 38mm to 64mm (1.49" to 2.51")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow; pink
Descriptors: flying, colorful, large

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 38mm (1.5in) and 64mm (2.5in)
Lo: 38mm
Md: 51mm
Hi: 64mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Horse Lubber Grasshopper may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Horse Lubber Grasshopper. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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