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eastern lubber grasshopper – Romalea microptera

The eastern lubber is surely the most distinctive grasshopper species in the southeastern United States. It is well known both for its size and its unique coloration. The wings offer little help with mobility for they are rarely more than half the length of the abdomen. This species is incapable of flight and can jump only short distances.The eastern lubber is quite clumsy and slow in movement and mostly travels by walking and crawling feebly over the substrate. The “lubber” designation is interesting because it aptly describes this grasshopper. “Lubber” is derived from an old English word “lobre” which means lazy or clumsy. This term has come to mean a big, clumsy, and stupid person, also known as a lout or lummox. In modern times, it is normally used only by seafarers, who term novices “landlubbers”. Eastern lubber is one of only four species in the family Romaleidae found north of Mexico, but there are many other species in South America, and many are winged and agile, so although some other species in this family are called lubbers, the “lubber” designation is not appropriate for the entire family.

This lovely (if you don’t have a garden) creature seemed totally out of place here in the desert. He is for sure a bit further west than most of the maps show it’s range. He was an easy catch as they don’t fly. I wish I could have gotten an image that showed the bright red of the underside of the wing.

An amazing structure for sure! Makes you wonder if they lumbered all the way here from the east. Go west young grasshopper, go west.

try to not be a lummox or a lout today. ††† en theos ††† jimwork

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