The Koppie Foam Grasshopper (Dictyophorus spumans) is a southern African insect. Spumans means foam. It is also called the Rooibaadjie (Red Jacket) or the Foaming Grasshopper.
Its name comes from the grasshopper’s ability to produce a toxic (poisonous) foam from its thoracic glands (just behind its head). It eats the toxic milkwood plant, which makes the foam toxic too. This means that other animals don’t like to eat the Koppie Foam Grasshopper because it smells awful, tastes awful, and is poisonous.
The Koppie Foam Grasshopper is about 8 centimetres (3 inches) long with variable colours, but mainly grey-black with red colouring. It has a thicker neck shield with lumps on it, and short reddish wings. These colours notify predators that it is poisonous. This is called aposematic colouration.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM