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The Giant Six Inch Herbivore

4 January 2012 One Comment

Today’s Belize Photo of the day is the Giant Red-winged Grasshopper and its scientific name is Tropidacris Cristata Dux. This giant six inch herbivore lives in humid tropical forests occupying areas in Central America from Costa Rica up to Yucatan and Southern Mexico.

Giant Red-winged Grasshopper

The above photo was taken at Chaa Creek’s Nature Reserve and can be spotted on the Creatures of the Night Walk.

The Tropidacris Cristata belongs to the largest known grasshopper genus of the family Romaleidae reaching up to 16 centimeters in length with a wing span of 24cm. They are a highly variable species, especially in colors, with the adults being brown with darker markings. Juveniles are chemically protected, and with their yellow and black warning colors, they can look like a totally different species.

This giant herbivore will use its powerful hind legs to kick any predator such as birds, spiders, lizards, or rodents which may come too close and can spit a brown bitter liquid as a defensive behavior.

Photo submitted by Naturalist Guide: Selwyn Bol.

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