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Family: Pneumoridae (bladder grasshoppers)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Phylum: Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Polyneoptera > Anartioptera > Orthopterida > Orthoptera

Pneumorids are endemic to Africa and most of the species are limited to South Africa, particularly in the fynbos and Namaqualand. The most distinctive feature of this family is the hugely inflated abdomen of the male, used in amplifying the sound it makes by rubbing a line of ridges on the inside of its hind-femur against a crescent-shaped line of ridges on the side of the abdomen. This method of sound production produces a very loud noise that can be heard up to 1.9 km away (van Staaden & Römer, 1997).

Bullacris unicolor male photographed at night in West Coast Strandveld.

Further Reading

  • Dirsh, V.M. 1965. Revision of the family Pneumoridae (Orthoptera: Acridoidea). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology 15: 325-396.

  • Van Staaden, M.J. & Römer, H. 1997. Sexual signalling in bladder grasshoppers: tactical design for maximizing calling range. Journal of Experimental Biology 200: 2597-2608




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