The interesting looking Blistered Pyrgomorph (Monistria pustulifera) is a colourful grasshopper that are often found feeding on Eremophila sp., in particular the Eremophila gilesii (Giles Emu bush).
The adults develop a pair of small wings that render them incapable of flight, although there have been found on occasion ones that have full wings and can fly. They are not very active, typically walking as opposed to hopping around, although their larger back pair of legs are used for hopping.
The female Blistered Pyrgomorph measure up to 6.5 cm long and are almost twice the size of the male. Pictured below is a mating pair, with the smaller male mounted on the larger female.
Occasionally they can defoliate plants but most of the plants will regrow new leaves
within a few months. Once the female has mated she will deposit her eggs into sandy substrate covered with a foam plug to prevent the eggs from drying out. The strong colours are a clear indicator to predators that they do not taste good and to leave them alone.
Blistered grasshopper, Inland painted grasshopper
Images © Greg Sully
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Orthoptera
- Family: Pyrgomorphidae
- Genus: Monistria
- Species: M. pustulifera
- Binomial name: Monistria pustulifera