Aularches miliaris is a colorful grasshopper belonging to the family Pyrgomorphidae found in South and Southeast Asia. The bright warning colours keep away predators and their defence when disturbed includes the ejection of a toxic foam.
The insect has been called by a variety of names including Coffee locust, Ghost Grasshopper, Northern Spotted Grasshopper, or Foam Grasshopper and enjoys some popularity as a pet insect.
The head and thorax are dark green with a canary-yellow band on the side. The tegmina are green with many yellow spots; the legs are blue, with a yellow serrated pattern on the hind femora. The abdomen is black with bright red bands. Two subspecies have been designated, the nominate and pseudopunctatus.
It swarms in October, the mating and egg-laying season, collecting on bushes and grasses. It is heavy and sluggish, able to make only short leaps, very visible on vegetation. Outbreaks leading to their damage to cultivated crops are uncommon.
When A. miliaris (of either sex) is disturbed or grabbed, it emits a sharp rasping noise from its thoracic segments. If its thorax is pinched, it also squirts a clear viscous mucus with unpleasant smell and a bitter taste, faintly alkaline, with many embedded bubbles. This foam comes out as a strong jet from apertures in the thorax, and more gently from other openings in the body (ten in total); it heaps up around the insect and partly covers it.
- Hingston, RWG (1927). "The liquid-squirting habit of oriental grasshoppers". Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 75: 65–69. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2311.1927.tb00060.x.
- (2013) Aularches miliaris miliaris (Linnaeus, 1758) from Orthoptera Species File (OSF) Online. Accessed on 2013-01-29.
- Jones, S (1940). "A Visitation of the Spotted Locust (Aularches miliaris L.) in Travancore.". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 41 (3): 676–678.
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