Observations Relating to Populations of the Giant Grasshopper Tropidacris cristata in Trinidad, West Indies

Christopher K. Starr


Tropidacris cristata and the very similar T. collaris (Orthoptera: Romaleidae) are believed to be the largest grasshoppers in the world (Carbonell 1986). Of the two, only T. cristata is found in Trinidad. Earlier, I reported (Starr 1998) finding T. collaris in large numbers on Margarita Island, Venezuela in August 1997. In contrast, until the observations reported here I had never encountered T. cristata in any abundance in Trinidad. Although it is not a rare insect, I had never seen two individuals in one day and possibly not two in the same week, this despite a decade's residence in the area of the Northern Range.

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the Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists' Club, 1997-