Koppie Foam Grasshopper

These Koppie Foam Grasshoppers (Dictyophorus spumans) (Afrikaans name Rooibaadjie) extract and store heart poisons (cardiac glycosides) from the milkweed plants that they feed from, it exudes these poisons in the form of a foam when molested. This poison has been known to be fatal to dogs if eaten.

They are big, bulky, flightless grasshoppers with short to very short wings. It inhabits rocky areas with low vegetation. The black and red colours should issue a warning to birds and animals.

We came across these grasshoppers in the West Coast National park, they remind me of ancient creatures that may have lived millions of years ago.

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