The sound of the Crackling Locust was a common summertime noise when I grew up on Salt Spring Island. Dusty gravel road habitats was where you usually saw this large gray grasshopper. Trimerotropis verruculata are most often seen as they rise into the air, making their characteristic noise and then drop to land on the ground and essentially disappearing, almost perfectly camoflaged on a rock, or in the gravel and dirt on the road. The Crackling Locust uses a variety forest openings . James Miskelly, a biologist who has spent a lot of time looking at B.C.'s grasshoppers, crickets and katydids tells me that we have three species of Trimerotropis here on southern Vancouver Island. T. pallidipennis lives on coastal sand ecosystems. T. fontana is a common species here on rocky outcrops. It has very blue hind tibiae, "as opposed to the sort of blue hind tibiae on T. verruculata". My impression is that this group of grasshoppers has declined since my childhood, but I will admit to spending a lot less time wandering gravel roads than I used to. Thanks to James Miskelly for looking at the photos and identifying this specimen.
Two biologists on a beautiful property armed with cameras, smart phones and a marginal knowledge of websites took up the challenge of documenting one species a day on that property. Join along! Posts and photographs by Leah Ramsay and David Fraser (unless otherwise stated; started January 1, 2014.