MIGRATORY GRASSHOPPERS : Locusta migratoria
You may rarely see grasshoppers in West Dunbartonshire, but when you do, you may well see several. The migratory grasshopper likes our muirland where it feeds on grass. A problem confirming the specific species is that its colours vary across its life stages. It is green during its solitary phase becoming more brown during its migratory phase.
The Orthopera website tells us more. Locusta migratoria is one of the largest short-sensing insects in Central Europe. Both green, brown and gray individuals are found. The head and pronotum often have a contrasting, dark marking. The pronotum central keel is distinctly raised. The glassy wings are almost twice as long as the hind legs and darkly spotted. The hind rails are pale reddish. Locusta migratoria distinguishes between two phases: the sedentary phase (phasis solitaria) and the migratory phase (phasis gregaria). The sedentary phase corresponds to the above description and occurs under normal environmental conditions. In favorable environmental conditions and high population densities, a migratory phase occurs. These animals are always gray to brownish in color.
One of many found on Carman Muir in August 2023.
ORTHOPERA website : https://www.orthoptera.ch/arten/item/locusta-migratoria?category_id=35