November 3, 2021
Ben here with today's edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!
Like most grasshoppers, the clipped-wing grasshopper (Metaleptea brevicornis) is a master of disguise!
This species is found in wetlands across eastern North America, and it's usually spotted from July-October. I photographed this one back in September. The most unusual feature of this grasshopper is that it "crepitates" while flying, which means it makes a clicking noise when it's on the wing. If you're in Virginia and hear a grasshopper clicking as it flies past, it's probably one of these guys! Also, you're much more likely to see it flying than jumping; these grasshoppers don't leap as much as other species do.
Metaleptea is a genus of short-horned grasshoppers, which get their name from their short, stubby antennae. There are only two species in the genus Metaleptea, and this is the only one you'll find in the U.S.! The other species, Metaleptea adspersa, is found only in Central America and South America.
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends. This series of posts is made possible thanks to the support of VMNH Corporate Partner Carter Bank & Trust (www.cbtcares.com).
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!