Green Milkweed Locust Phymateus leprosus
Suborder: Caelifera. Infraorder: Acrididea. Superfamily: Pyrgomorphoidea. Family: Pyrgomorphidae. Tribe: Phymateini
Mating Phymateus leprosus
in Mountain Zebra National Park
The genus Phymateus
belongs to the family Pyrgomorphidae. These giant and colourful Orthoptera are popularly known as bush locusts or milkweed locusts. They inhabit semi-deserts with Karoo vegetation, tree savannas, as well as gardens and other cultivated areas.
species use a wide range of food plants, including toxic families like Euphorbiaceae, Asclepiadaceae, and Apocynaceae, as well as many crop species and garden plants.Description
A large grasshopper about 7 cm in body length with two large bumps on pronotum. It has an olive-green body, with mottled wings in an assortment of greens and black.
Raises and rustles wings when threatened and produces an evil-smelling foam from the thoracic joints.
Nymphs are a bright green and black colour.HabitatPhymateus leprosus
occurs in the wild bush and scrubland of the coastal belt of South Africa.Biology
The eggs are laid, probably in the ground, from June to August and do not hatch until March-May of the following year. The development of the hoppers extends over 12-13 months, and the adults live for several months, so that the full cycle occupies two years. The hoppers of all ages are gregarious and cluster together on low shrubs; they also undertake migrations in close narrow columns.
© Michele Nel
Nymph, Garden Route National Park, Wilderness, Half-collared Kingfisher Trail
© Puff Addy
Montain Zebra National Park