04 May 2015

The giants are coming

So I went outside to check that the vegie patch wasn't drying out in the gorgeous sunshine and what do I see but this ginormous grasshopper on the passionfruit vine.  I took a step back because I do not like creepy crawlies of any description, but when they are this big (almost 10 cms or 5 inches) they really spook me.  I quickly came inside to get my camera and got as close as I dared to take some photos.  This was the one time I wished I had a very powerful telescopic lens so that I could stay well back from this monster.  I had visions of him jumping on to me and those barbs in his hind legs really made me uneasy.

As did that look he was giving me out of the corner of his eye.

Look how delicately he is holding the passionfruit leaf while he munches away.  I hope he doesn't eat too much and I hope he doesn't invite any of his mates over for a party or there won't be any vine left.

According to the Museum of Victoria website:.......

The Giant Grasshopper is so named for being the largest grasshopper in Australia. The adult's body length, however, varies from an enormous 90mm to less than half that size. This gives it the scientific name Valanga irregularis, referring not only to the irregular colouration but also the irregular length. People who know the species well simply call it Valanga.

Unlike many of the better-known grasshoppers, this species feeds not on grass but on the leaves of shrubs and trees. They have a very variable diet, ranging from native plants to citrus, cotton, coconut and even coffee plants. This makes them a minor pest in some areas, due to their occasional habit of consuming every leaf on a food plant when present in large numbers.

Well Mr Valanga, enjoy your visit to my garden, but please stay well away from me (and please don't eat too much while you are here). 

1 comment:

Marjie said...

What a beauty but like you, it would have scared me! Maybe Mrs V was at home with the baby! I haven't seen one of these giants before! Great photos.