A Stick Grasshopper Displays Its Tiny Wings in Chile - Observation of the Week, 6/2/21

Our Observation of the Week is this Neotropical Stick Grasshopper (Family Proscopiidae), seen in Chile by @ninangel!

“On January 17th, this summer, I went to explore a place called ‘Cerro Grande’ in La Serena city, in Coquimbo, Chile,” says Ninosca Angel, a marine biology student currently working on her Master’s degree in Zoology.

I was with a marine biologist friend, and while taking pictures of insects we saw two proscopids and I noticed that one of them had wings! Apparently, they were fighting, since the winged proscopid was missing a leg, so I separated them to be able to appreciate the beauty of its wings. When I had it in my hand it made a strange sound, perhaps feeling threatened, then I returned it to its place, surprised by what that can be found in nature. I had never seen a proscopid with wings, I was fascinated.

While they may bear a superficial resemblance to “true” stick insects (Order Phasmida) Proscopiids are grasshoppers, being part of the Infraorder Acrididea. They occur in Central and South America and in addition to their stick-like bodies (the better to camouflage with), their heads are elongated, with bulbous eyes located near the top next to short antennae. Some, at least, are able to leap, but none are known to actually fly.  

Ninosca (above) says she’s always been interested in nature, and feels “fortunate to have a family that loves nature, camping and exploring, either alone or with friends to see if we discover any new species and to record everything we observe.” In addition to schoolwork, she makes videos to raise awareness about nature and of course has started posting her observations to iNat. “I use iNaturalist,” she says,

because I like to share images and data of nature to be able to provide information for scientific research and above all, I like to learn about the species that are found. I would like everyone to use the platform to collaborate and take care of our biodiversity.


- The late macro photographer/videographer (and iNat user) Andreas Kay shot some beautiful footage of Proscopiids, you can see videos here and here.

- Don’t forget, iNaturalist Chile recently joined the iNaturalist network!

Posted by tiwane tiwane, June 03, 2021 00:07

Comments

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Quite impressive, congratulations.

Posted by nelson_wisnik 14 days ago (Flag)
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Wonderful @ninangel ! Excellent observation -- know that folks all around the world are enjoying these! :)

Posted by sambiology 14 days ago (Flag)
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Such a fancy pair it looks like it ordered them brand new from Amazon!

Posted by po-po-pro 14 days ago (Flag)
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WOW! Keep posting.

Posted by wilfredp 13 days ago (Flag)
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What a cool insect! Great observation.

Posted by sullivanribbit 13 days ago (Flag)
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wow amazing Ninosca! so they don't use their wings for flying but rather for display? Very cool!

Posted by loarie 13 days ago (Flag)
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Fantastic observation! Well done!

Posted by susanhewitt 13 days ago (Flag)
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Qué mágico! Congratulations for the awesome capture :)

Posted by juliogrubenthal 12 days ago (Flag)
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I’m so glad you shared this beautiful observation!

Posted by jessicaw 12 days ago (Flag)

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