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The western horse lubber grasshopper, Taeniopoda eques, is a relatively large grasshopper species of the Romaleidae family found in the arid lower Sonoran life zone of the southwestern United States and Northern Mexico (Hebard 1925).  Northern populations are identifiable by their shiny black bodies and black and yellow reticulated forewings. Some southern populations are yellow in the adult stage. The species is unique in using its black coloration to thermoregulate and in being chemically defended. The aposematic coloration warns vertebrate predators of its unpalatability and allows the grasshopper to roost conspicuously upon desert shrubs (Whitman & Orsak 1985, Hogue 1993).


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