Alice Springs Fauna •

Giant GrasshopperValanga irregularis nymph Valanga irregularis as prey

— see Alice Springs Bees | Beetles | Insects

The largest of the grasshoppers, the Giant Grasshopper (Valanga irregularis) is part of the family Acrididae. This species has a number of other common names including Hedge Grasshopper, Giant Grasshopper and Giant Valanga.

They start off small and grow through the different nymph stages, outgrowing and shedding their old skin, into their new skin.

Nymph stage of Giant Grasshopper (Valanga irregularis), Alice Springs NT
Nymph stage of Giant Grasshopper (Valanga irregularis), Alice Springs NT

They are quite noticeable even as small grasshoppers, being green with black markings (possibly to aid in blending into the background of the plants they are eating.

This species also has a number of different colour forms as they grow, that if you did not know, you may think they are different species.

Valanga irregularis (4th stage nymph), Alice Springs NT
Valanga irregularis (4th stage nymph), Alice Springs NT
Valanga irregularis (4th stage nymph), Alice Springs NT
Valanga irregularis (4th stage nymph), Alice Springs NT
Valanga irregularis (4th stage nymph), Alice Springs NT
Valanga irregularis (4th stage nymph), Alice Springs NT

Sometimes a moult may not go to plan, as see in the following images with possible trauma to the eyes.

Valanga irregularis are found mainly in the Australian tropics and subtropics, but can be common throughout Australia, including here Alice Springs in Central Australia.

Giant Grasshopper nymph (Valanga irregularis), Alice Springs NT
Giant Grasshopper nymph (Valanga irregularis), Alice Springs NT

Usually found living as solitary insects, under the right conditions, they can be seen in large groups.

Giant Grasshopper nymph (Valanga irregularis), Alice Springs NT
Giant Grasshopper nymph (Valanga irregularis), Alice Springs NT

The following photograph is an adult female Giant Grasshopper nymph (Valanga irregularis), about 8 to 9 cm long, photographed in Alice Springs, Northern Territory.

Adult female Giant Grasshopper nymph (Valanga irregularis), Alice Springs NT
Adult female Giant Grasshopper (Valanga irregularis), Alice Springs NT

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Subclass: Pterygota
  • Order: Orthoptera
  • Suborder: Caelifera
  • Infraorder: Acrididea
  • Superfamily: Acridoidea
  • Family: Acrididae
  • Tribe: Cyrtacanthacridini
  • Genus: Valanga
  • Species: Valanga irregularis
Adult female Giant Grasshopper nymph (Valanga irregularis), Alice Springs NT
Adult female Giant Grasshopper (Valanga irregularis), Alice Springs NT


Giant GrasshopperValanga irregularis nymph Valanga irregularis as prey

Alice Springs Orthoptera – OrthopteroidsAcrida conica Garden Mantis Giant Grasshopper Spur-throated Locust Woodger’s Gumleaf Katydid

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