Can a Swarm of Locusts Really Block Out the Sun?

eclipse and locust

We know the moon can do it, but what about a swarm of locusts? On Monday, August 21, 2017, denizens of North America will look skyward to witness a solar eclipse—the first in which the path of totality will cross the contiguous United States since 1979. Those who have witnessed a full solar eclipse say […]

Functions of Grasshopper Genitalia Revealed, in 3D, Via Correlative Microscopy

Examples of Correlative Microscopy Technologies

For their study recently published in the Journal of Morphology, Derek Woller and Hojun Song created an animated, visual overview of all the anatomical components of both sexes of Melanoplus rotundipennis that were reconstructed in 3D using micro-CT scanning. By Derek A. Woller Grasshoppers have often been used in entomology textbooks and classrooms as model […]

The Origin of Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets: A New Study Resolves the Evolutionary Tree of the Orthoptera

By John P. Roche The order Orthoptera — which includes the familiar crickets, katydids, and grasshoppers — is a huge and diverse group of winged insects with more than 25,000 species, many of which are scientifically and economically important. Because of its size, understanding the evolutionary relationships in the Orthoptera is important, but up until […]

Liladownsia fraile: The Rest of the Story

(A version of the following article was originally published in Metaleptea 34(2): 13-15) By Derek A. Woller My colleagues (Paolo Fontana, Ricardo Mariño-Pérez, and Hojun Song) and I recently published a paper in Zootaxa entitled “Studies in Mexican Grasshoppers: Liladownsia fraile, a new genus and species of Dactylotini (Acrididae: Melanoplinae) and an updated molecular phylogeny […]