Friday, October 23, 2009

Watching those antenna

I enjoyed the time I spent watching this grasshopper on an afternoon in August. He was very active, but most active were his antenna. They were constantly moving....down, middle, up. Antenna do so much, no wonder he never stopped moving them. Antenna can sense odor, humidity, vibration, wind velocity and direction (found on this site). We're not positive, but we think this guy looks a lot like a Red-legged Locust (Melanoplus femur-rubrum)--also know as a Red-legged Grasshopper.

Here they are down.....touching the flower head.

...then they started moving up.

...all the way up. It was fun to watch him eat (I think that's what he was doing). Can you see how his front leg is putting something in his mouth. He did this over and over. I assume he was grabbing part of the flower to eat. I don't know, though, and I didn't have the energy to research. I'll look into that later. He also would use his front leg to run over his antenna--like a kitty running his paw over his ear! It was very interesting to watch...

...now they are down! Does anyone know what those little red things are? He (or she) had them on both sides.
Thanks, Steve for letting me know the red things are mites. In Steve's own words: "There are several species of mites that can be found on grasshoppers. Some are actually parasites and others are just hitching a ride to a new location."

...back up!

33 comments:

Roy said...

Yikes! The flu! Kindly breathe off to the side there as we converse, thank you very much. Here's hoping the Tamiflu works well.

This beastie looks very like the Red-legged Locust in my Audubon Field Guide to New England. But then Grasshoppers/Locusts tend not to vary a whole lot from species to species, so don't quote me on that.

Kelly said...

...thanks, Roy....don't worry, I'm wearing a mask (which I had to do at the doctor's office today). I rarely get sick and haven't had the flu in over 10 years. I'm not keen on it. I was also supposed to leave on a weekend trip to Cumberland Falls with Matty and Rick, but the Swine did us in! Thanks for the ID. Red-legged Locust it is!

Nick S said...

Lovely close-ups there Kelly :-) Makes me want to invest in a macro lens one of these days...

Gabrielle said...

Ooo Kelly, feel better soon!!! I think that the causal relationship between cleaning and getting sick instead of birding and being healthy should be more widely known. (Just be careful that Matty doesn't use that one on you next time he has to clean his room!) Sending healthy, healing thoughts your way!

Caroline said...

Kelly, I hope you feel better soon! I loved your photos and post about the grasshopper(especially interesting when enlarged) - what a beautiful insect!

Sue said...

Kelly-so sorry you got the flu. But, I don't think it's because of the housework (but nice try!)
:D
Hope you feel better soon!

John said...

Kelly,

Sorry to hear you are not too well with the Flu..hope you get well very soon, and get out into the Woods and listen to the birds...not cleaning the house ;-)

Nice photos of the Locusts...the detail is amazing.

John

Kerri said...

My house is a mess...I guess that's why I don't have the flu :) Seriously though...I hope you feel better soon!!

Your pics of the grasshopper are amazing!

Hilke Breder said...

Kelly, I hope you'll feel better soon. Is it the H1N1 flu? Here in Vermont we haven't seen much of it yet; probably because of the low population density. I just love those grasshopper photos!

Jayne said...

Ugh Kelly. Take good care of yourself dearest. Yes indeed, cleaning = getting the flu.... I like that correlation!

Cindy said...

Amazing photos. Hope you feel better soon. ~Cindy

Montanagirl said...

Great post, and superb photos of the hopper. Sorry to hear you have the flu, Kelly. We got our flu shots the end of September, but not the swine flu shot yet. Not too sure about that one. Hope you get it over it fast.

Midmarsh John said...

Another set of spectacular photos, Kelly.

Had the 'flu about 35 years ago and remember being bed-ridden only able to drink hight energy stuff as I couldn't eat. Not nice!
Here's hoping the Tamiflu does the job for you.

Jenny said...

I hope the Tamiflu does it's job Kelly. Sending get well vibes to you across the pond. I'll have to try that excuse out of my hubby! (-:
Great photos of the locust. Those back end on ones are specially good,a different perspective.

Roy said...

Get well soon Kelly.
I like the moral of your story.
No more cleaning, very good idea, doubt that you will adhere to it permanently though{:)

The Early Birder said...

Super close-ups of the locust. I've just looked around & think we need to do a thorough clean up but should we....?
Hope you get well soon Peanut. FAB.

Steve Willson said...

Kelly - The bright side to being sick is that when you finally get back to normal, normal feels better than it ever did before.

It looks like your grasshopper is playing host to a few mites. There are several species of mites that can be found on grasshoppers. Some are actually parasites and others are just hitching a ride to a new location.

Natural Moments said...

Those are some great photos. Its does look like it is using its hand to eat something. I think that is wonderful. Nature is amazing in so many levels. The grasshopper looks really happy too. It must be a reflection of your energy.

Feel better soon Kelly. Maybe use those charged up crystals to instill extra vitality into your Being.

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
a very nice post that made me thing of Dave from Birds from behind!!

kslaughter said...

Hi Kelly,

Laure let us know you were sick and I just wanted to say "Get well soon!" I will be back to look at your blog in depth---incredibly interesting stuff!

Take care,
Kathy

Kelly said...

Nick...I didn't use a macro lens. Just my regular setup 70-200mm with a 2x TC and my monopod--then cropping down. He's a big bug, which made it easier!! Thanks...

Garielle...I will become the advocate....more birding, less cleaning--for your health!

Caroline...thank you!!

Sue....I will always believe it was because of the stress of cleaning!! :-D When an ADD person attempts to get orderly, life goes awry...

John....thank you. I want to get into those woods soon. I miss the birds. Thank goodness they come to feeders so I can at least see the garden birds.

Kerri....whatever you do, don't try to put it in order. It's just not worth the Wrath of the Swine....

Hilke....yes...it's H1N1, but with the way I feel, it doesn't merit a number...it is pure Swine--The Wrath of the Swine best describes it. Not feeling too bad now. I slept most of they day. The worst part is coughing. It is a non-productive cough, but I assume all the membranes are quite inflamed because when you cough there is a searing pain in the throat and chest...a burning sensation. I don't like it one bit. I think I'm a big baby because I rarely get sick!

Jayne....remember the correlation well and live by it. I will... Thank you!

Thanks, Cindy!! I'm already feeling better...

Mona...if you can get the vaccine, get it! Unfortunately, I got the Wrath of the Swine before the vaccine was available. I got my regular flu vaccine in Sept, so I'm covered there.

John...thank you! The Tamiflu seems to be working, but I slept most of the day, and that probably helps too.

Jenny...thank you. Yes. Tell your husband I did the math. It's true. The correlation between Swine and cleaning has now been proven. :-D (I'm actually starting to believe it myself!) I liked the end-on shots too. It was very funny watching the antenna move up and down from behind!

Roy......you seriously underestimate my resolve (at least until I'm well)! ;-)

Frank...run outside now and don't look back. The Wrath of the Swine is just not worth a clean house. Put the vacuum cleaner down and step away from the dust mop! :-)

Steve....you are so right. I even said that to Rick earlier. When we are well, the sun will be brighter, the leaves more colorful....and we will be healthy for the holidays! Thanks for the info on the parasites. I only started studying insects this summer and really know NOTHING about them. I'm slowly adding insect books to my library, but I have a lot to learn. I would never have guessed those were parasites--scary looking little red things!!

Natural....you are right. Nature slows my mind down....listening to and watching all parts of nature opens you to so much more. I have two polished quartz crystals on my desk right now.

Thanks, Chris. I haven't been over to Dave's site yet today. I'll have to head over and see what he's posted. I loved the Golden-crowned Kinglets from yesterday.

Kelly said...

Kathy....you slipped in while I was answering the other comments. Thank you! I'm going to spend some time on your blog too. Love all the creative stuff you have going on. I hope to have the energy to paint a painting for Laure's class tomorrow.

Elaine said...

Kelly, exquisite shots of the grasshopper! Hope you are feeling better soon. Cleaning house is obviously a health hazard. I will be vigilant this winter and avoid it as much as possible.

HBFG said...

Hi Kelly, thank you for visiting my blog again and all the kind words! I too like to visit you as often as I can and admire all the wonderful birds (and other critters) you manage to "catch and turn them into pixels".
:))
Hope that you are back to good health soon!!! Glad you caught it early.
Also hope you enjoy the "over the top" award! It's a pleasure to pass it on to you.
Michaela

holdingmoments said...

Hope you get better soon Kelly.

Lovely close ups of the grasshopper, and good observation of the antenna.

Thanks for your comment on my last post. Appreciated.

Dave Lewis said...

I hope you feel better today!
Stay by the windows and watch the birdies out there, that always makes me feel better!

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos again Kelly. So sorry you have the dreaded flu but I'm glad you started the treatment straight away, that is supposed to help a lot. I am waiting to be summoned for the vaccination as I am in the high priority category who will get it first over here. I do hope you feel much better soon and that it won't be too long before you can get out with your camera again doing what you enjoy most.

Heather said...

Oh my dear friend, I'm sorry to hear that the swine flu got you. I hope by now you are feeling better. I see you've gotten a new post up since this one, so I'll take that as a good sign. Please take care of yourself.

Regarding your grasshopper, he (or she) is very cool, and I bet you got mesmerized by watching its antenna. I watched a katydid just walking up a wall a few days ago, and it was fascinating stuff. It too, like your grasshopper, would put a "hand" to its mouth, presumably to eat. Something about how it was moving was eerily human.

Kelly said...

Elaine...thank you! I'm feeling a little better, but not well. Be brave, girl. Let the house fall apart this winter....

Mischi....Thank you for the award!! That is sooo nice!! Thank you for thinking of me. I just remembered I forgot to post my other awards in the sidebar. Yikes......this will get me back on track.

Keith...good to see you back. Thank you!

Dave...I feel okay. I've been doing a lot of window birding. Saw a White-throated and a White-crowned today--first of the season.

Songbird...I hope you get the vaccine soon. We are still waiting for the vaccine also. At this rate, everyone will have had the flu before they are vaccinated. Too bad Tamiflu production isn't meeting demand either. My poor husband, Rick, did not get Tamiflu as he wasn't in the "high priority" category. In a week, everything will be back to normal.....yeah!

Heather....funny....you can only sleep so much. Then I get up do a bit...write a post...and then go back to sleep. You're right. The way he was using his foot was very human-like. It was sort of creepy....but interesting and cute at the same time!

Tammie Lee said...

Hi Kelly,
Sorry to hear you are not feeling well! I love your humor about house cleaning and birding!
Your grasshopper photos are fab, so much wonderful detail. They really are incredible looking!
may health and vitality be yours~

Kelly said...

Thanks, Tammie Lee! I'm a little sick of being sick. Five days is enough....oh well. The doc said 10-14, so I guess I should get used to it! :-)

RuthieJ said...

Oh Kelly, I'm sorry to hear you're not well. I hope you feel better soon.
It's good to know about the housecleaning & health relationship. All along I thought it was the supplements keeping me healthy, while it was actually the beneficial aspects of dusty surfaces and pet hair in all the corners! ;-)

E said...

Kelly, sorry you have the bad flu, get better soon. The pics are adorable! Congrats.