A population of Taeniopoda reticulata in the region of Boca del Drago on the island of Isla Colon in the Bocas Del Torro Archipelago of Panama: June 15 – July 31, 2004.
These lubbers hopped and quickly traveled away from a pursuer, often heading for any tall, stationary item that they could climb. Males could travel short aerial distances, but flight was very limited. The females did not fly, although they would snap their wings while jumping if threatened. Some grasshoppers lowered their bodies closer to their perch if pursued from above and would cling tenaciously to it when forcefully removed. On occasions when mating pairs were collected several hours after dark, they would drop from their perches as opposed to the daytime tendency to climb as high as possible. Once an insect was captured it would almost always regurgitate, defecate, and physically struggle and kick with the spiny rear legs. These insects could also release a foamy, odorous secretion from their spiracles. Two males were seen to raise their tegmina and bright wings while curling their abdomens up dorsally and moving with large, quick steps (a photograph of this position can be found on the closely related Romalea microptera EOL page: click here). Most T. reticulata would bite if given the opportunity, and an occasional male would snap his wings when struggling for release.
Insects were rarely documented displaying disturbance behavior towards one another, except in mating situations. Approximately 14.5% of the mated males and 8.7% of the unmated males were injured; however, this difference was not significant (X2=1.0; df=1; p=0.32). It is also important to note that the grasses of the study site were cut with a machete in order to reduce habitat conducive for small, biting Dipterans. It is likely that most of the injuries I noted were sustained during this time.
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