It’s midnight. The lights are out. I have spent the past sixteen hours doing the types of things you don’t remember at the end of the day. Normally I would pass out from exhaustion, but a three inch long insect has just landed in my hair. Within seconds the lights are on again and I am wide awake. It is grasshopper season and it appears one of these stealthy little beasts has made it into my bedroom.
The truth is the grasshopper may have gone unnoticed had I not reached behind the bed for my mosquito net. Mosquito season has passed, but there are still a few stragglers annoyingly buzzing around my room. The grasshopper was probably comfortably nestled into the mosquito net when I pulled his resting place out from under him.
This common Galapagos grasshopper is also known as the Large Painted Locust (Schistocerca melanocera). As described in Wildlife of the Galápagos, it grows up to three and half inches and is seen most frequently after a heavy rain fall.
It is incredible how far these grasshoppers can jump. Ten feet is a piece of cake. Once they enter a room they refuse to leave. You are usually left with four choices. The first, is to leave the room. The second, is to stay in the room and watch the grasshopper distractingly jump around, occasionally landing in your hair or on your back. The third option is to catch and release the little creature. This takes perseverance. Be prepared to leave the article that you used to catch the critter outside all night. The final alternative is to put the grasshopper out of its misery. Clearly, this option should only be used if the grasshopper has been injured. I usually opt for the third choice.