Saturday, September 4, 2010

A little privacy in the garden.

belalang kunyit   
or Valanga nigricornis  
pic 2

pic 3
the male is fairly small

another couple, well comourflaged.
the male is smaller too.

The two belalang kunyit or valanga nigricornis  are such a loving pair, choosing the stem of Okra to hold on to. The okra and winged bean  which has been  behaving like the legend of the three sisters (click: Unintended companionship of Okra, Roselle and Winged Beans.  and Okra get entwined as in the Legend of Three Sisters Garden.),  has leaves which change just a shade yellower to camouflage the pair. That must have been their master bedroom, five feet above the ground.  They are fairly secretive with their endeavor, in fact it is me that is naughty, intruding into their privacy, without even knocking on garden's door.

In many insects and fish, the male is smaller than the female. In mammals, including humans, males are typically larger than females. In birds, males often exhibits a colourful outfit and display that attracts females.

Grasshoppers have an amazing ability to identify their mates. Each species has its individual song, produced by rubbing or flicking the lower back legs on the forewings to create either a chirping or a clicking sound . Females sing more softly than males, facilitating differentiation between both sex and species. Species that make no sound rely on sight and scent to find a mate. Males emit pheromones, external hormones which attract females, while other species use their excellent eyesight to enable identification by color.

Elaborate courtships routines are performed by males in some species. The American grasshopper Syrbula admirabilis displays 18 individual poses using its wings, legs, and palps. Males of other species may wave brilliantly colored wings when wooing the female, while other species forego courtship altogether.
Mating occurs when the male lights on the female's back and may last anywhere from 45 minutes to well over a day. In the species Extatosoma tiaratum, a female mates with several males. Most of the sperm in her genital tract from the first suitor is replaced by the sperm of her next mate. Males therefore mate many times with the same partner and other females to gain the maximum opportunity to pass on their genes. Males of some species die shortly after mating. The females die after egg-laying. (refer: Grasshoppers - Courtship And Mating).

A few days ago, 
I heard continuous clicking sounds made by one belalang kunyit from the bush of ulam raja, now I know what the sounds for. a haunting serenade, a courtship after all...



  1. Wow! You managed to capture 2 sets of grasshoppers in action. Looks like you'll be having heaps of baby belalang soon.

  2. That is so interesting and your photos are great....hopefully they didn't mind ;-)

    I am thankful that for us humans the women are not bigger then then the men ;-)

  3. The bugs must find your garden a romantic place! :) Indeed life goes on...

  4. You had me giggling with the title and pics. Good info too.

  5. Very interesting information and wonderful photos catching them in the act :)

  6. What a sweet and kind view of insects that may be about to eat your okra and winged beans. Very poetic view of something I, too, have been a "voyeur" to.

  7. My goodness! I'm cyberblushing.

  8. Really cute photos. Bet the hoppers when not so pleased though. I liked the information on the mating too. Nice blog.

  9. Your photos are wonderful. I hope your subjects didn't mind too much. I have a photo of a pair of walking sticks where the female is MUCH larger than the male. I also recently saw a small male writing spider carefully approacing the gigantic female. He stayed very near the edge of the web. I don't know if he was successful.

  10. Hot-melting days have continued in Osaka...

    It's so shocking that my sweet-corns are dead due to bug's attack that I and my wife are so disappointed.

  11. Thanks everyone, for the lovely comments. Yes, love is in the air.. at least that was what grasshoppers had been trying to tell us.

    Insects and animals are so close with nature that they can read weather and tell what to expect soon. Birds will run wild and yell, hours before a good thunderstorm. Even chicken can read and share with us bits about changing weather.

    But when grasshoppers are in mating season, what are they trying to tell?... be nice to your partner maybe...

    World will be a lot better when we try to be nice to others.

    Cheers, have a great weekend.
    ~bangchik, putrajaya Malaysia


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