April 24, 2009
It's not unusual to find grasshoppers drowned in the pool, but this one saved itself by perching on a hose. The gray bird grasshopper (Schistocerca nitens) is native to the American southwest. We see a lot of them here this time of year. They appear in shades of gray or brown, and can be as much as three inches long. (This one was definitely that big.) They eat plants, but unlike some other species (including locusts) they do not form huge, destructive swarms. They fly rather awkwardly, sometimes crashing into people when they should be escaping.