Hop to it! With the new MI-Bug grasshopper expeditions

We are launching a new series of expeditions exploring the specimens located in the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Insect Collection. First up, grasshoppers! Grasshoppers are found around the world and some species can be found as close as your backyard.  Grasshoppers are often called ‘locusts’ and are an important part of the environment providing food for both animals and people alike. In some areas certain species can even be agricultural pests, as they like to eat the same plants we do. By rubbing their hind legs against their forewings, many male grasshoppers will also ‘sing’ to try and attract a mate – isn’t that sweet?

The grasshoppers you will be looking at as part of our MI-Bug project could be recently collected specimens, or they could be over a 100 years old as our collection started back in 1913 with some things collected even before then. They could also be from places as close by as Michigan or Wisconsin, or from more exotic places like the Amazon Rainforest or African savanna. With your help, these are some of the things we’re hoping to find out.

So, as we’re all cooped up in our houses for now, consider becoming a citizen scientist on MI-Bug project on the Notes from Nature website and help us discover more about the insects in our collection.

Thank you for your help!

— Erika Tucker, UMMZ Insect Collection Manager & Assistant Research Scientist

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