not birds ...Googong grasshopper query [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

To: "'Peter Ormay'" <>, "'Canberra Birds'" <>
Subject: not birds ...Googong grasshopper query [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]
From: "Perkins, Harvey" <>
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2014 23:27:45 +0000

Peter ,- Indeed – it was in fact the first insect I ever noted in Canberra; way back in January 1979. I was walking near the Academy of Science towards the ANU at which I was soon to begin my undergraduate studies. Back then, most of that area was still open grassland, and quite dry at that time of year, and the Yellow-winged grasshoppers were everywhere. The next insects I recall was a defoliation of Christmas Beetles on a then very young eucalypt at the comparatively undeveloped ANBG. Interestingly, both these insects were commented on in my new blog.






Harvey Perkins


From: Peter Ormay [
Sent: Monday, 6 January 2014 10:11 AM
To: 'Harvey Perkins'; 'Canberra Birds'
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] not birds ...Googong grasshopper query


These have been a common grasshopper around the Canberra region since forever, at least since the mid ‘50s. Their yellow wing flashes and clicks as they fly are a typical feature of walking in grassland on hot summer days in the district.



From: Harvey Perkins
Sent: Sunday, 5 January 2014 9:22 PM
To: Canberra Birds
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] not birds ...Googong grasshopper query


I agree with Steve that it is a Yellow-winged grasshopper (or locust) Gastrimargus musicus. There were lots of them at Uriarra Crossing yesterday too, sufficient that I included a brief comment about them in just my second posting on my brand new blog which ended up being more about insects than the birds I was looking for.






On 5 January 2014 16:35, Steve Holliday <> wrote:

Hi Robin


Looks like Yellow-winged Locust (Gastrimargus musicus), see


A widespread and common species in eastern and northern Australia. They occasionally occur in plague numbers – this might be a big season for them. They also come in a brown morph.




From: Robin Hide [
Sent: Sunday, 5 January 2014 3:20 PM
To: Canberra Birds
Subject: [canberrabirds] not birds ...Googong grasshopper query


Yesterday walking along the grassy western foreshore at the northern end of Googong every step saw tens/hundreds of these grasshoppers (about 30-40 mm in length) take dramatically to the air, with a few flying into ones face etc.

Any suggestions re identification?



Few birds seen - Pipits, White-faced Herons, and on the water, coots and a few  gulls.


Robin Hide


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