Although grasshoppers are famous for their ability to blend in with their environment, certain species take it to a whole new level with their brilliant colors. These brilliant colors have a variety of functions, from attracting partners to warning predators to their toxicity or unpalatability.
The incredible diversity of colors in grasshoppers highlights the vast array of adaptations and strategies they have evolved to survive and thrive in their environments. In this article, we will explore 15 most colorful grasshoppers that showcase nature’s remarkable palette.
15 Most Colorful Grasshoppers in the World
1. Rainbow Grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Dactylotum bicolor|
|Colorful Feature||Multicolor bodies; comprising of yellow, black, green and red|
The first grasshopper species in this list of Colorful Grasshoppers is the Rainbow Grasshopper.
This phenomenon of using bright colors to warn predators of their toxic or unpalatable nature, is called Aposematism.
2. Painted Grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Poekilocerus pictus|
|Habitat||Grasslands, open fields, agricultural areas|
|Colorful Feature||Blue and yellow bands, orange and green wings|
The Painted Grasshopper gets its name from the striking patterns and colors on its body. The vivid colors act as a signal to predators that the grasshopper can be poisonous or unpleasant to taste. They can chew and digest plant stuff effectively thanks to their powerful jaws.
3. Red legged grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Melanoplus femurrubrum|
|Habitat||Agricultural fields, grasslands|
|Diet||Soybean, Dandelions, Alfalfa and various other vegetation|
|Colorful Feature||Multicolor bodies comprising of green, black, red and yellow|
Next up, on this list of Colorful Grasshoppers, we have the Red Legged Grasshopper a common bug found throughout North America.
It is distinguished by its distinct legs, bright red or golden hind legs with a black herringbone pattern. In scientific research, this grasshopper is commonly employed as a model organism.
When a swarm of red-legged grasshoppers passes over a field of crops, it can destroy the field, leaving the farmer with nothing to harvest.
4. Lichen Grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Trimerotropis saxatilis|
|Habitat||Rocky areas and hilltops|
|Size||Up to 1 inch|
|Colorful Feature||Covered in a pattern of speckled green, gray, and brown|
The most striking features of the lichen grasshopper are its coloration. Its body is coated in a green, grey, and brown speckled pattern that mimics the appearance and color of the lichen it lives on.
The grasshopper’s extraordinary camouflage enables it to blend in with the lichen-covered rocks, branches, and dirt, effectively shielding it from predators.
5. Large Banded Grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Arcyptera fusca|
|Habitat||Grasslands, alpine meadows|
|Diet||Grasses, herbs etc.|
|Colorful Feature||Yellow and Black alternating bands, on the legs and abdomen|
Though the large-banded grasshopper does not show as much vivid coloration as the previous species, its yellow body color with alternating black bands is quite a standout.
With a bright red color hindleg, the Large Banded Grasshopper is undoubtedly one of the most colorful grasshoppers.
This species exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males having functional wings and females with rudimentary ones.
6. Pink Meadow Grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Pseudochorthippus parallelus|
|Habitat||Grasslands, vegetated areas|
|Colorful Feature||Bright pink coloration|
Next up, on this list of Colorful Grasshoppers, we have the Pink Grasshopper which has been in the recent news for the past couple of days. Being a very rare spotting, it has taken the internet by a swirl.
The pink coloration is caused by a genetic mutation, called erythrism. Meadow grasshoppers come in several morphs, wherein brown and purple-red variations have also been sighted.
7. Rainbow Bush Grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Erianthus versicolor|
|Colorful Feature||Striking black, green and yellow coloration|
Despite having the name Rainbow, this species is quite different from the first species on this list, the Rainbow Grasshopper.
Discovered in Southeast Asia, there is not much information about this genus. However, captured images show a grasshopper with a bright yellowish-green body, speckled with black markings and brown limbs and eyes.
8. Green Milkweed Grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Phymateus viridipes|
|Habitat||Areas with milkweed plants|
|Diet||Poison arrow plants, Yellow Oleander etc.|
|Colorful Feature||Strikingly beautiful wings|
At first sight, the Green Milkweed Locust might look exactly like any other grasshopper, with its common green body. However, when it spreads its hind wings, the Green Milkweed Grasshopper becomes one of the most colorful insects.
The wings display a bright blue color towards the base that slowly merges with bright red and with black spots all over. The dietary preferences of the green milkweed grasshopper are among its fascinating characteristics.
This species mostly consumes milkweed plants, as its name indicates. The poisonous cardiac glycosides found in milkweed plants are unpalatable and might be dangerous to a variety of animals.
However, the green milkweed grasshopper has evolved the ability to tolerate and even sequester these toxins, using them as a defense mechanism against predators.
9. Koppie Foam Grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Dictyophorus spumans|
|Habitat||Light woody areas|
|Diet||Milkweed, Aloe Flowers|
|Colorful Feature||Bright black and orange body; Strikingly beautiful nymphs|
Despite having several color variations, the overall black coloration with bright orange sub-parts is the most common. Even the nymphs of this species exhibit a fantastic coloration of yellow, white, and black in their abdomen.
Quite like the Green Milkweed Grasshopper, the Koppie Foam Grasshopper too feeds on milkweed plants. They derive their name from the toxic foam it secretes from their thoracic glands.
10. Elegant Grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Zonocerus elegans|
|Diet||Grasses, agricultural plants, milkweeds|
|Colorful Feature||Multicolored bodies|
Next up, on this list of Colorful Grasshoppers, we have the Elegant Grasshopper, that despite being an agricultural pest deserves recognition for its body color.
The antennas are brightly colored with alternating black, orange, and white bands, yellow and green thorax and pro-thorax, and a segmented abdomen, with each segment displaying black, blue, orange, and yellow colors slowly transitioning into each other.
It won’t be surprising to declare this species as one of the most colorful insects in the world.
11. Leichhardt’s grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Petasida ephippigera|
|Habitat||Grasslands and woodlands of Australia|
|Diet||Grasses and herbaceous plants|
|Colorful Feature||Bright Orange, blue and black coloration|
The body displays a bright orange coloration, with black spots all over. The head and thorax bear a characteristic blue patch. One of the most notable features of Leichhardt’s grasshopper is the presence of eversible vesicles on its thorax.
These vesicles, located just behind the head, can be inflated and released to produce a strong-smelling and distasteful secretion. This serves as a defense mechanism against potential predators.
12. Lubber Grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Romalea microptera|
|Habitat||Weedy vegetation areas|
|Diet||Shrubs. weeds, herbs, etc.|
|Colorful Feature||Bring orangish red coloration|
Lubber grasshoppers exhibit a range of colors that vary depending on their life stage. When they first hatch from eggs, the young nymphs are mostly black with a few hints of yellow or red.
As they grow, their colors become more pronounced and defined. The nymphs go through several molts, with each instar displaying different color patterns.
The most common color variation observed in adults is a combination of black, yellow, and red. The overall reddish-orange coloration with tints of green creates quite a striking coloration.
13. Blue Winged Grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Oedipoda caerulescens|
|Habitat||Dunes, limestone rocks, sandy grasslands|
|Colorful Feature||Vibrant wings|
Th last animal on this list of Colorful Grasshoppers is the Blue Winged Grasshopper. At first glance, the grasshopper might not be visible, thanks to its fantastic camouflage against its rocky habitat.
The Blue Winged Grasshopper gets its name from its striking blue wings, which come into sight while the insect is in flight.
14. Ghost Grasshopper
|Scientific Name||Aularches miliaris|
|Habitat||Trees, gardens, forests, etc.|
|Colorful Feature||spotted wings, colorful body|
Though the term ghost is mostly associated with scary-looking creatures, the Ghost Grasshopper is quite an exception to it.
The dark green thorax, with a broad canary yellow lateral band, blue legs, and green wings with yellow spots make this species one of the most colorful grasshoppers in the world.
When threatened the Ghost Grasshopper secretes a toxic mucous-like foamy substance, covering the insect and thus helping to deter predators.
15. Liladownsia fraile
|Scientific Name||Liladownsia fraile|
|Colorful Feature||Multicolored bodies|
The Liladownsia fraile is a recent inclusion to the family of grasshoppers. The insect displays a multicolored body, comprising of bright yellow prothorax, red and black head, and thorax and limbs with yellow, orange, and black markings.
There isn’t much information about this species, and further researches are yet to happen. Liladownsia fraile derives its name from the famous Mexican singer Lila Down.
Now it’s time to conclude this article bearing the title, Most Colorful Grasshoppers. From the vibrant reds and blues to the striking yellows and greens, these colorful insects captivate our attention and showcase the beauty of nature’s diversity.
- mdc.mo.gov- Lichen Grasshopper
- insectidentification.org- Red Legged Grasshopper
- dewetswild.com-Elegant Grasshopper
A zoology student turned writer. Nature has always been a magnet to me, and to unearth some of its secrets through my articles is my prime intention. If not engaging myself with nature and anime content, you can always find me going through some Bengali classics or filling the air with some soulful Tabla beats. An artist, trying to throw some colors to my blank canvas of life.