17 January 2011

A Mexican General

When traveling the Arizona-Mexico border in late summer or early autumn, don't be surprised to stumble across a Mexican General.  Or perhaps 10,000 Mexican Generals!

Based on some of the outlandish stories in the media, often filled with sensationalism and hyperbole, you might expect me to be talking about members of the Mexican National Army.  However, I am actually talking about a large grasshopper, also called the Horse Lubber (Taeniopoda eques).  

The Horse Lubber does best after a good monsoon season (usually occurs in Southeastern Arizona from late June through mid-September), and can sometimes be seen in mass hordes crossing the high desert, usually in the vicinity of some wooded oak habitats.

Like most grasshoppers, it will eat many different plants, and occasionally other insects if presented with an opportunity.


  1. What an amazing looking grasshopper! I have never seen or heard of these before. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow - very cool shot. I have never heard of them before either.

  3. Believe me, they are a pain in the butt. Does anyone know if they are toxic to dogs if they eat them? They are enormous and beautiful I will admit. Thanks.