Grasshopper Field Trip

August 9, 2016

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Bill Maynard, a botanist and former high school biology teacher, has worked for various government agencies from Alaska to South Florida and for The American Birding Association. He discovered the 87,000 acre Chico Basin Ranch to be the perfect natural laboratory to study and photograph birds, dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. Chico Basin Ranch Natural History Resources : BIRDING CHECKLIST // BIRDING MAP // DRAGONFLY & DAMSELFLY CHECKLIST //

The local Mile High Bug Club visited Chico on Saturday to learn more about the amazing diversity of grasshoppers found here.  Grasshoppers are part of the order, Orthoptera, which also include katydids and crickets.  Chico’s microhabitats provides the perfect place to study these interesting insects. The huge Plains Lubbers were recently emerged and the sandy wash at Black Squirrel Creek gave the 10 participants a chance to get to see egg-laying, mating, feeding and resting grasshoppers.  Did I mention our group saw an amazing 41 species including a species, Toothed Dune Grasshopper (photo) relying on its cryptic coloration to avoid detection by avian predators.  The pink hues blend perfectly with an area on Black Squirrel Creek having pinkish pebbles on the river bed.