Tag Archives: Green Milkweed Locust

Green Milkweed Locust

Phymateus viridipes

The Green Milkweed Locust, or African Bush Grasshopper, is a large – up to 9cm long – poisonous locust that can congregate in enormous numbers (as we experienced on Sunday at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, apparently an annual occurrence there in September and October), and may migrate over great distances, flying strong and high. They feed on toxic plants and are rather sluggish on the ground, preferring to stay in trees and bushes and flying between them. When feeling threatened they will raise and rustle their wings and exude a noxious foam (poisonous if ingested) from their bodies as defense. Eggs are laid in the ground and the nymphs (also called “hoppers”) are highly gregarious, moving around in tight clusters until they are almost fully grown.

And yes, they scare me. Terribly.