Grasshoppers that Look Like Aliens

June 2008 Update: I know you probably found this post by searching for the word Grasshopper. Feel free to save this grasshopper image and use it however you want. I don’t know the official name of the grasshopper, but I took the photo in St. Petersburg, Florida. I then removed the background in Photoshop. If you know the specific species name of this grasshopper, let me know.

This beautiful grasshopper was hanging out on our patio wall all last night. I was able to get about a foot away and take this picture. The grasshoppers in Florida are gigantic.

grasshopper

Then we had some fun with photoshop. Notice how Lucy tries to save Avery.
Grasshopper landing on Avery’s head

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By Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer working for a gamification company called Badgeville in the Silicon Valley area in California. I'm primarily interested in topics related to technical writing, such as visual communication (video tutorials, illustrations), findability (organization, information architecture), content development (DITA, testing), API documentation (code examples, programming), web publishing (web platforms, Web design) -- pretty much everything related to technical writing. If you're trying to keep up to date about the field of technical communication, subscribe to my blog either by RSS or by email. To learn more about me, see my About page. You can also contact me if you have questions.

63 thoughts on “Grasshoppers that Look Like Aliens

    1. Renae

      I was researching pictures of grasshoppers for our Food Chain. This was a great picture for my 4th graders!

  1. Tom

    The number of hits this post gets each day amazes me. It is practically one of my top ten posts. If you’re a searcher and you land on this page, please tell me what you were searching for.

    1. Hannah

      i’m doing a project on grasshoppers for Biology and we needed a picture so thats how i wound up this website. it’s cool that you took this picture yourself-it turned out nice, Thanks forgiving me a good pic to use on my poster..haha!

    2. arlen

      my 3 year old caught one of these yesterday. I was searching for information on what grass hoppers like to eat.
      this picture was great conversation starter with my 3 year old.lol
      good job

      1. Tom

        I love the temerity of children. I think these grasshoppers look bold and ready to fight (they don’t jump away when you get close). To reach down and pick one up — I need that courage again.

    3. Paige

      I’m trying to find a movie made in the 70s about an alien ship that’s dug up in an English subway, and has some strange mystical impact on scientists. The “aliens look like grasshoppers” — my search terms — and that’s how I landed here. Still haven’t found the movie, however. But you have a cute kid.

      1. Al

        Paige:

        I’ve been looking for that movice for years. You discribed it just as I remember it with even more detail. I was 13 (1973) when I was it last. I always remembered the scene where they’re trying to burn a whole in the egg looking ship. And the scary scene of the grasshoppers. hopping accross a field. Let me know if you find it.

        1. Tony Shoemake

          The name of the movie is “Quartermass and the Pit” it is a British product from the 1960′s I believe.

    4. Jodi

      My friend found a bug in her garden and im trying to help her identify it. She thinks it was a locust, I think grasshopper-It is your exact picture!!

    5. Kris

      I am planning to blog about how loud grasshoppers/crickets are this time of year. One always manages to get into my room and keep me awake. Their size does not match their sound! I was going to put a giant grasshopper/cricket in a photo next to my dog to show its size matching its sound.

    6. Libit

      Hi! I can’t believe I stumbled across some friends looking for what a grasshopper looks like. Scrolling down I said, “I know that kid. Then the name was right. Wow! Small world. Did Avery really have that on her head?
      My husband is tying a fly that is suppose to look like a grasshopper. I was saying that I didn’t think they had segmented bodies. That meant we had to google a picture. Yours was the best. The grasshopper is called a lubber.

      1. Tom Johnson

        Hi Libit. Nice to hear from you. I photoshopped the grasshopper to appear as if it were on her head. Good luck with the fly. I didn’t know your husband was a fly fisherman.

  2. David

    I did a search for “grasshopper” to show someone who is learning English what one was. Yours was the best illustration in my opinion.

    Thanks!

  3. Loretta

    I have to make my son into a grasshopper for a play and just searched grasshopper photo.
    Great grasshopper, now if I can make it.

  4. Chris

    I landed on your website looking for a grasshopper photo for my 2nd grade son to use for a model he needed to make for school.

  5. Barbara Nicolazzo

    I’m a transplanted Floridian and I googled “locust” because even after twenty-four years here, I can’t believe what’s eating my plants is a plain ol’ “grasshopper.” “Locust” didn’t get me my bug, so I tried “grasshopper,” and there it is. Your picture is the only one that looks like the critter I’m looking for. The thing is creeping me out. I’m told only cutting it or mashing it will kill it. An old woman from Colombia insists you have to BEHEAD them. I know all god’s chillun got shoes, but gak: I wish bugs didn’t have the effect on me that they DO.

  6. Kay

    I googled for ‘grasshoppers’ images, and yours was the 4th one, and in my opinion the best example for the reason I was googling. I was looking for the location of leg joints on the thorax. I photo-ed an insect in my backyard and while I know it’s not a grasshopper I wanted to compare some things. But now I think I’ll investigate this ‘grasshopper porn’ thing. Hee-hee!

  7. Philip

    I was searching for the word “grasshopper” in order to draw a grasshopper head sticking out of a dark hood. “Grim Hopper”. Its for an art project entitled Insect Mythology.

  8. Marc

    I live over in Tampa and just found a BFG in our backyard. I wanted to see what kind of species it was. It looked just like yours. I googled big grasshopper florida and went to image search.

  9. marlene

    Well this is what I was looking for! I live in Florida and I see these suckers all the time. Actually there was one on my door last night and I was looking up what they looked like so I could email my family and show them. Personaly I think they are gross I hate bugs but I am awed by their size! I am afraid of them if that makes sense ewww!!!

  10. Debbie Sickler

    I found your post by searching for grasshopper images. I took a picture of one the other night, but ours here in California are so small I had to use my macro lens plus a set of Kenko tubes just to get a good shot of its face. I did a search because I wanted to check out the various colors grasshoppers can be. Here’s mine if you’re interested. It was only about two inches long, which is typical for my house. Yours is great by the way and your Photoshopping is perfect. Love the look on the little girl’s face. lol[img]http://www.photozo.com/album/data/3340/IMG_1878-2_800px.jpg[/img]

  11. Ben

    Hey there, folks. What you’re looking at is the Eastern Lubber, or Georgia Thumper. They’re huge, like 2.5 – 3″ long, and in numbers, they can decimate your garden. It’s also completely freaky when you’re walking along a field row and one jumps up in your face… I’d suggest not screaming like a girl in front of the old timers on the farm. They tend to remember stuff like that, and you’ll get a nickname that’s hard to shake.

  12. Wayne (Steamboat)

    I was raised in the northen section of the EverGlades, a place called The Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge Area, wbere I have seen so many of these large grasshoppers that I could only estimate how many. But I can tell you for sure I measured one at 4 1/4 inches and there were many close to or even sligtly bigger, with an average adult measuring about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches. I also from time to time worked as a fishing guide speacalizing Big Bass on Lake Okeechobee. Bass loved these big hoppers, when fishing was a little slow and/or your clients weren’t all that good fishing artifical bates/lures I’d put 6 to 9 inch shinners on their hooks or, if I had some handy these large hoppers. It was very rare not to land more then a few good sized (5 lbs and up) bass using this method. Be careful to hook them about an inch up from the back of the tail and under their wings, this does little dammage to them, and gives them the freedom to cause quit a comotion atracting preditor fish, infact I’ve even turned some lose at days end and they seem to be OK as they hop or fly on their marry way!
    God Bless Ya’ll,
    Wayne Steamboat Owen
    (The Everglades Bluesman)

  13. Michele in Tampa

    I really hate those big ugly grasshoppers. My despise goes all the way back to a childhood encounter with one that creeped me out and will always be remembered. I was trying to find out what kind of hopper they are, not that it really matters to me , because the only good ones are dead! They are munching on my plants and have a habit of jumping out and scaring me while i try to work in my yard. I have found that wasp spray will kill them. The plus of wasp spray is it shoots a long distance so you don’t need to be close to get your target! When I head into the yard, my trusty can of spray is by my side. I stocked up on the spray when I found a sale, I am serious about trying to RIP all the ones I come across. Anyway if anyone else needs to rid their yard of these gross pests, try the wasp spray!

  14. Shellie

    Well, its 2009, and I was googling grasshoppers because we found one of these and I was wondering what the name of it was. Your pic came up and that is exactly what we have!!! We love insects so we are keeping it as a pet, for as long as we can. We think its beautiful! My son loves to play with her and let her climb the table legs, and such, as if she were King Kong! Queen Kong, I guess!! Still don’t know what she is yet. We’re in SC!

    1. Tom

      I think this grasshopper looks a bit like an alien (though not as much as praying mantises). Still, I’m happy to hear that your child can play with it as a pet. I imagined that it would spit and strike at me or something if I actually held it.

  15. michal

    I in love with a grasshopper.

    better fry than BEHEAD them. grasshoppers r kosher. said to taste like chicken and i loove anything chicken mm! good to know where u can find TIGER SIZE!!

    1. Tom Johnson

      Cool post. I hadn’t heard of grasshopper theology before. Does that mean one gets to work in service of others rather than in waiting to be served? Unfortunately, that big lubber of a grasshopper was terribly slothful. He just sat on my wall staring at me for hours.

  16. Gaby

    I needed an image of a grasshopper so that I could create a food web of a barn owl for my ecology class. Beautiful photo, no background, exactly what I needed. Thank you for sharing this picture with the world. :)

  17. jp

    I am from Florida and remember these disgusting creatures well. They would infest and consume all the ornamental shrubs in our front yard. And YES they were huge!!! I still have a phobia til this day. I now live in Colorado and we get a lot of hoppers, but they are dwarfed by the ones in Fla. I was telling my daughter and her friend about the giant Fla hoppers and decided to show them a photo – thanks for the great one!

  18. mia

    its called an eastern lubber grasshopper and they are poisonous, not to humans but if your cat or dog or something bites them, then their poison harms them so b careful!!!!

    1. Tom Johnson

      I didn’t know they were poisonous to eat. Good point. I always joke with my kids about bugs being full of protein, etc. I will have to avoid recommending that they eat this one.

  19. Carole

    I accidentally caught one in my hand while I was stripping the dead leaves from my ti plant. It hissed at me. So far I have killed 5 of them in my garden which they are rapidly eating away at. Wasp spray is the only thing I have found that kills them. The last one I smashed with a shovel, however. I saw several holes in the bark mulch where they must have laid eggs and sprayed bug killer in the holes. Hope that killed the eggs but bug spray has no effect on the adults even thouogh it says on the can it will kill grasshoppers.

  20. Rhonda

    I always saw these grasshoppers when I would visit my grandparents in Florida and was amazed by their sizes. We moved to Georgia and have been here for about 30 years and I am now seeing these grasshoppers just outside of Savannah for the past few years. I was looking up “Big Grasshoppers” to see what their official name was and your page popped in 3rd. I am still amazed by their size! I only see them outside of my workplace, luckily I do not have a garden for them to feast in!

  21. Vickie

    I live in Zephyrhills, fl and these” beautiful” grass hoppers have eaten everything that has a leaf in my yard. I have hundreds of them. I was looking for a way to get rid of them. I have wasted a lot of money feeding these pesky creatures.

  22. buckminsterfullerene

    When I was younger I thought the critters where awesome, but now… well, they have done quote some extensive damage and just caught 4 of those critters all of them about 3-4 inches long… guess my garden provides a good diet for them.

    1. Tom Johnson

      Does anyone know how to kill these grasshoppers (or discourage them)? It seems that this post has become the go-to place online for information about these grasshoppers. I’d like to provide some quick information in the post about the grasshoppers, such as their name, whether they’re poisonous, what they eat, and how to get rid of them. Anyone have this information?

  23. ms

    Funny, i was just describing this grasshopper to a friend (realizing that i had not seen one in many years), asking if she ever saw one like it before. I am currently in NC but was raised in South Florida.I actually described it as looking like an alien too!!!!! Glad you had the picture so i could show her.
    We had a lot of them around when i was younger which didn’t seem to bother anyone. Didn’t see too many after Hurricane Andrew though. Fortunately, I never heard one hiss before as i read in a previous post…they sure are creepy.

    Thanks again!
    MS

  24. ms

    Just Google Lubber Grasshopper or Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, you will find the info you’re looking for.

    Species Romalea microptera

  25. ms

    Read that using pesticides on adult lubber grasshoppers doesn’t work, but spraying newborns when they come out of the ground in March can be effective.

  26. michelle

    I was searching for lubber grasshoppers, hoping to find a plant that they don’t like so I could plant that around my garden so that they stop eating my plants! There are so many of them around where I live but I am looking for an organic solution.

  27. bob k

    black flag wasp spray does kill these overgrown insects. i have
    removed 5 in the last week in defense of my gardenia. this is in punta gorda, fl.

  28. john

    today is monday september 27,2010. one of these cratures is sitting in front of my front door here in Port Charlotte Florida. Its the 3rd one Ive seen around my house over the weekend. Ill bet its 5 inchs long and prolly weighs somewhere close to a ounce. found your site by google. “big grasshopper in fla”.

  29. Jessica

    This is a Southern Lubber. I am from Miami, and these were in my yard all the time as a kid. I was never brave enough to pick one up. I stumbled on this because I was trying to find photos of these particular grasshoppers to show my kids. We live in NC now, so they’ve never seen them. The grasshoppers here are tiny! great photo by the way!

  30. ChriS

    hiya
    I am staying for a while in Montenegro, and last night I had just recently moved into a “bed-sit” and i was a bit surprised to see this thing several inches long on the inside of my living room/balcony (french) window..it was dark I had left the door to the balcony open all day..to air the room./..i didnt want to leave it inside, so, I caught it gently in a plastic bag and let it out on the balcony..was a weird moment when we just both stayed motionless looking at each other, like beings from 2 different planets meeting each other for the first time.. ;)

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