Tropidacris cristata is found from Central America through most of tropical South America. It is a large species that routinely reaches 15 mm (6 inches) in length.
As the photographer and author Ken Preston-Mafham put it, "The sudden clatter made as this massive creature explodes unexpectedly into the air from a leaf beside one's ear and zooms across the sky is more reminiscent of a bird than an insect."
Photo location: Suchitoto, Cuscatlán department, El Salvador.
Determined by Dr. Carlos S. Carbonell, Universidad de la República, Uruguay.
Bottom photo: the grasshopper was perched on one of many stenciled signs in this town, giving a message that the household in question does not tolerate violence against women.
American Insects site