This picture of the Koppie Foam Grasshopper was taken by Johan van der Merwe in the Drakensberg. This little guy's colours can vary quite widely and they can grow up to 80mm long.
The interesting thing about these grasshoppers are that they are able to produce a toxic foam from glands just behind their head if grasped by a predator. If their bright colours are not enough to tell predators that they shouldn't eat this insect, they are able to release this foam, which has a repugnant smell and usually accompanied by an audible hissing sound. This foam contains similar toxins to the main body of the insect and will often prove irritable to the creature that tried to bite at it. This is usually enough to ensure that the grasshopper is quickly released and then the bright coloration will remind its would-be predator not to try that again.
These toxins are a result of the grasshopper's diet. Unlike other grasshoppers that eat rather innocuous plants (though few grasshoppers solely eat grass), this one enjoys eating toxic, distasteful and noxious plants, such as members of the milkweed family. It then has the ability to keep the toxins in its body, an ability known as sequestration.
So this little guy will cause more than an upset stomach to whoever decides to eat it. This interesting little grasshopper makes for a beautiful image!
This beautiful 40 x 50cm canvas is unique to us and is relatively challenging with it's 26 colours and a few smaller areas on the grasshopper. Each box contains a stretched, printed and numbered canvas, paint, brushes and a page detailing the numbers for an extra reference.
Paint by Numbers
Create with confidence and let your inner artist shine!