WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – ENCHANTED FOREST PARK, FL
- This photograph was taken at Enchanted Forest Park in North Miami, Florida. The gear used was a Nikon D90 body with a Nikkor 60mm 2.8 lens and a Tamron 2x teleconverter.
The Carolina Locust is a type of grasshopper. It is grayish-brown, allowing it to blend easily with the woods and dry soil where it lives. Their back wings are black with a broad yellow border and the front wings are more leathery. Most Carolinas are between 1 to 2 inches in length when they are fully grown. Did you know that the Carolina locust makes a very fast purring sound? When it flies, that sound becomes more like a rattle.
Carolina locusts are considered one of the less destructive types of locust. However, they can still do a lot of damage, eating all the leaves and grasses that they can find in a given area. Locusts travel in groups called swarms, moving through grasslands and fields in search of food. The Carolina locust is usually found in areas where there is dry soil and plenty of plantlife. They are often found in the southeastern USA, especially in the Carolinas, giving them their name.
Like other locusts, the female Carolina lays eggs in an egg pod deep in the dry soil. She may lay up to 160 eggs in all, but most females lay about 50. The Carolina locust goes through incomplete metamorphosis, meaning that the young do not go through the caterpillar and pupae stages of life. Instead, they hatch as young nymphs, looking like adults but smaller and not as developed. The nymphs are speckled brown, giving them some protection as they blend in with the soil. After shedding their skin and growing a new one about 8 times, they become full adults.