13th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Male and female grasshooper
Adult Carolina grasshoppers sitting on warm bricks on a rather hot day.
The female is larger than the male, as with most grasshopper species. The Carolina grasshopper reaches the adult stage in May to June in the southern US. In the photo, the male sits on the female's leathery fore wings (tegmina; one fore wing is a tegmen) and drapes his abdomen over her right side, coming up from the side and below to connect in a J-shape. The paired hooks on the tips of the male's front (prothoracic) and middle (mesothoracic) legs hold the edges of the female pronotum (the saddle-shaped top of the thorax), the tegmina or the ridges of the upper surfaces (tergites) of the segments of her abdomen. During this time, the female does the walking and jumping, if required.
© Michael McKee.
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||Sept. 3, 2015, 9:25 p.m.