Koppie Foam Grasshopper

Dictyophorus spumans

The Koppie Foam Grasshopper is a large (up to 8cm long) insect whose brilliant red-and-black colouration advertises to any would-be predator that it is poisonous enough to kill a dog. This poison is accumulated in the body tissues of the Koppie Foam Grasshopper when it feeds on poisonous plants from the milkweed family and is exuded in the form of a bloody foam when the insect is attacked. Their wings are far too short to permit flying. Koppie Foam Grasshoppers occur over most of South Africa, being absent only from Kwazulu-Natal and the eastern Free State. They live in open, sparsely vegetated and often rocky areas and are regularly encountered on hills (koppies in Afrikaans) and mountain tops.

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