Habitat: northern Australia
Status: Not Listed
In the Northern territory of Australia is the rugged area of Kakadu. This is where the flamboyantly colored grasshopper, Leichhardt’s Grasshopper (Petasida ephippigera), resides. It’s named after the explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, who first discovered and wrote about this species in 1845. It’s a standout from most other grasshopper species with its bright orange body highlighted by deep blues and reds. It does have wings, but rarely uses them to fly more than a few inches of its home.
These hoppers feed on only one type of plant, the pityrodia. An adult will spend most of its life on one plant alone, living first at the base and then journeying up the plant as it grows older. Most of its day is spent basking in the hot Australian sun and feeding. Tough life.