A Pair of Grasshoppers

I’m fascinated by grasshoppers. With their large and powerful back legs they can jump and leap virtually unlike any other animal on earth. To farmers and even backyard gardeners, the appearance of a swarm of grasshoppers is second only to a swarm of locusts as the most devastating insect attack that can happen. Their voracious appetites can lead to stripped fields faster than seems possible.

vintage grasshopper drawing

The grasshopper drawing, shown above, is called Caloptenus femur-rubrum. Their legs are actually reddish in color. The historical work that this vintage grasshopper drawing came from mentioned that in 1749 and 1754, these red-legged demons ate everything, including the tops of potato plants. People fasted and prayed in 1743 and 1756 in hopes of deliverance from the calamity of these insects devouring everything green.

line drawing of a grasshopper

This grasshopper drawing if of the long-winged Caloptenus (C. spretus) which is reported to be even more destructive than the Calptenus femurrubrum.

Thankfully for us, neither of these grasshoppers are very destructive. These wonderfully detailed grasshopper drawings are from the book Half Hours with Insects. It was written by A.S. Packard, Jr., in 1881. I’ve included nice large versions so that when you resize them they should retain mush of their wonderful details.

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