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Subjects Grasshoppers : Nature Closeups

Crypsis Challenge #13 Reveal: Jumping Stick

September 7th, 2011 - 6:18 PM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 2 Comments

82mm | July 9, 2011 | Tupaciguara, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Were you able to find the critter in the photo above? It’s in the lower right corner. Some of you may recognize this as another stick grasshopper in the family Proscopiidae, previously featured in Crypsis Challenge #3. They are so cryptic that I couldn’t resist doing another challenge with this one. Here’s an outline of the grasshopper if you’re still not seeing it.

Grasshopper revealed

Check out how closely the color and texture of the insect matches that of the surrounding vegetation.

Can you distinguish animal from plant here?

Here’s another image where it’s blending in fairly well.

Another cryptic scene

And here, I intentionally placed it on a nearby rock so its features would stand out.

Jumping stick, looking more like the grasshopper it is

They have such interesting faces that I couldn’t resist a profile shot. It actually looks a bit sinister here.

Profile shot

Most of those that commented found the critter. A few even guessed the identity correctly, but even the incorrect guesses were plausible. Good job, everyone.

A Walkingstick with Wings

October 23rd, 2010 - 6:30 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

Walkingstick | January 28, 2010 | Caraça Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

We don’t have that many species of walkingsticks here in the Southeastern US. None of the ones I’ve encountered have wings. So this one looks odd to me.

Remember the jumping sticks? Here’s one more photo of one of those so you can see how easy it is to distinguish the two based on their antennae.

Jumping stick | January 28, 2010 | Caraça Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Crypsis Challenge #3 Reveal

October 13th, 2010 - 10:30 PM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 3 Comments

Did you find the critter hidden in this image?

January 28, 2010 | Caraça Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Ted C. MacRae did and correctly identified it as a stick grasshopper in the family Proscopiidae. As a reward, my next post will be a tiger beetle.

If you still need help finding it, here’s an outline and a cropped version.



Hopefully this one was bit more challenging. I didn’t spot the critter in this setting. It was originally higher up in some foliage and only jumped to the ground in a failed effort to escape my photographic pursuit.

Note the short antenna which makes it easy to distinguish these from walkingsticks.

Side View

Castner mentions that these insects are occasionally called “Nixon grasshoppers” because their face resembles a caricature of the former president with exaggerated jowls. What do you think?


Here’s one with a missing foreleg  I encountered a few days earlier. With an extended forehead, it might be a different species.

January 28, 2010 | Side View

Dorsal View


Amazon Insects:
A Photo Guide

by James L. Castner