Xyleus discoideus

Lubber Grasshopper

Xyleus discoideus, Lubber Grasshopper, image from Colombia


Family: Romaleidae

Subfamily: Romaleinae

Tribe: Romaleini

Length: males 31 - 49 mm; females 37 - 70 mm


Xyleus is a Neotropical genus containing 16 species. X. discoideus has been divided into five subspecies.

X. discoideus is widely distributed from southern Mexico to Argentina, though the range is not continuous. The species favors edge habitats, and is sometimes common in parks and large gardens. Typically it is not found in open, treeless areas.

Members of the genus have been recorded feeding on a number of economically important plants, including sugar cane and tobacco, but the damage to the plants usually is not great (Carbonell, 2004).

Fernando Campos De Dominico has raised this species in the labratory. He notes that the adult females are considerably larger than the males; females take longer to pass through the nymphal instars, but do have the same number of instars (five) as the males. Females took an average of 68 days to develop, while the males took 56 days. Despite being raised under identical conditions, De Dominico noted that coloration of the grasshopper nymphs varied considerably from individual to individual.

The various instars can by identified by the number of "longitudinal eye stripes." The first instar has one, and one stripe is added with each successive molt. Hence the final instar has five eye stripes. Nymphs of the final instar can also be recognized by wing pads that cover three abdominal segments and a portion of the tympana (De Dominico, 2005).

Photo location: Magdalena department, Colombia.

Determined by Dra. Kátia Matiotti, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul.

Lubber Grasshopper, Xyleus discoideus, Colombia photo

American Insects site