We featured the Two-striped Grasshopper a couple of reports ago and mentioned that they are polyphagous — meaning that they are capable of eating a wide variety of food and will cannibalize their own kind in times of food shortage. While the grasshopper in the photo did not kill another of its kind, it did take advantage of one squished on the road — a meal of opportunity. Doing a shallow dive into this subject revealed that cannibalism is a common ecological interaction in the animal kingdom and has been recorded in more than 1, 500 species …including humans. And it doesn’t occur only as a result of extreme food shortage or of artificial/unnatural conditions, but may also occur under natural conditions in a variety of species. Future Notes from the Lab issue or Bug Bytes podcast episode, perhaps?
Photo by Caitlin Parke on 8/21/20 in Boulder, MT