Monday, August 12, 2013

Acridid grasshopper color polymorphisms

This is the nymph of an Acridid grasshopper, a paurometabolous insect that derives its family name from the Greek term akris, meaning locust or swarming grasshopper (which are also members of the Acrididae!). The color variation in Acridid grasshoppers is just spectacular, as is the role of coloration in this group: thermal regulation, crypsis, aposematism, sexual dimorphisms, and even as a means to promote (negative) frequency-dependent selection - wherein rare phenotypes are missed by predators that prefer common prey phenotypes.  Here's a great review paper by Bond 2007.