A glimpse at the very rare Leichhardt Grasshopper from Arnhem Land, Northern Territory Australia, plus PhotoShelter update...more than 4500 images are now available in high resolution in my PhotoShelter Archive...
During my frequent travel in the Northern Territory between 1974 and 1986 I came across this amazing Grasshoppers one morning sitting on a small bush, only a few feet away from my camping ground.
© Gunther Deichmann - the rare and very unique Leichhardt Grasshopper from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia, found nowhere else in the world. Visit Gunther Deichmann website @ www.deichmann-photo.com or click on the image above.
I was very deep inside Arnhem Land and in Aboriginal Territory, I had heard about this amazing Grasshopper before and had seen a specimen at the Darwin Museum (the only one) and now I was confronted with these rare creatures sitting sluggish on a bush right in front of me. I understand the Aboriginals a lot better now, the Dream TIme and myth, I can imagine when they saw this orange colored Grasshopper for the first time, how Alien this must have been.
I was told by the Curator of the Darwin Museum that this Grasshopper had not been seen for some 100 years, I did collect a specimen for the Darwin Museum for Research purpose. All the other ones which where clinging on this bush I left where I found them, but of course took some Photos first, I might never see them again.
The Leichhardt Grasshopper is only found in the Northern Territory, Australia.
Another endangered species?
See below some more info and excerpts courtesy of:
It's named after the explorer, Ludwig Leichhardt who reported great numbers of them as he crossed the Arnhem Land plateau in 1845. However, after a few more sightings, Leichhardt's Grasshopper went incognito for 120 years. It's only reappeared on the scientific record recently, around 1973, when the mining industry boomed and access into Leichhardt's grasshopper territory was improved.
In Australia's Top End a beguiling grasshopper is heralding the coming of the wet season by putting on its gaudiest outfit. Leichhardt's Grasshopper is out in full adult glory. It's Australia's most brightly coloured grasshopper and one of the most spectacular in the world.
Leichhardt's Grasshopper is bright red, blue and orange. Its strong colours are a defence against predators which works so well that this little grasshopper has Attitude - often it doesn't even bother to fly away when predators approach.
Leichhardt's Grasshopper's scientific name is Petasida ephippigera. Grasshoppers come from the group of insects known as Orthoptera, which includes crickets, locusts and grasshoppers.
Jawoyn and Gundjeibmi people of Western Arnhem Land call the grasshopper Alyurr, children of the Lightning Man Namarrgon, a powerful ancestral being.
Catching sight of these grasshoppers requires a bit of effort and some patience. Most sites are accessible only by foot more than a day's walk from any roads. Even then it may not be worth it. Numbers fluctuate so greatly that grasshoppers may only be around one year in three.
This remoteness has made Leichhardt's Grasshopper difficult to study and also to protect. Even though it is quite rare, the grasshopper isn't able to be covered by Endangered Species Legislation because we don't fully understand its basic distribution, biology and ecology.For more info and some of the interesting Aboriginal legends go to:
We have just removed the PhotoShelter widget on my main site...the PhotoShelter Archive has just been updated with all the images from the PhotoShelter collection.
The PhotoShelter Collection is not available anymore, however I have “JUICED” up my PhotoShelter Archives, now with over 4500 high res. images from more than 25 Countries and many other commercial subjects.