Say’s trig

Yesterday my wife called me – “You need to come to Mahoney’s [our local garden center], there are tree crickets on every Holly bush.” I promptly grabbed a few containers and was there in a matter of minutes. And indeed, the place was resonating with soft, bell-like calls of dozens of crickets, but I did…

Helmeted katydids

Porgera, a gold mine in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, is not a pleasant place for a biologist, especially if you are aware of the massive environmental damage of its operations, or the frequent human right violations that this mining camp is known for. But we had no choice but to sleep with the…

Mozambique Diary: A talking grasshopper

One of the most endearing characteristics of grasshoppers is their ability to produce sound. Some of the most wonderful memories of my childhood include sitting in a meadow bursting with sounds of insects and watching grasshoppers use their hind legs to produce soft, rhythmical songs, and not realizing that a seed that would eventually blossom…

Mozambique Diary: It is loud out here

I am back from the first reconnaissance trip to the Cheringoma Plateau in the eastern part of Gorongosa. It was slow going and in nearly all places we were forced to do a lot of road clearing, removing or finding a way around fallen trees, but the rewards were great. The eastern part of the…

Spring grasshoppers

Lately things have been slow on The Smaller Majority blog. This is mostly because I have been crazily busy with preparations for my upcoming trip to Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, where I will be staying until June. While there I hope to be able to make regular updates to the blog and, if my…

Coneheads

A fact that entomologists are well aware of, but one that usually comes as a surprise to everybody else, is that most insect species are still unknown to science, and only a relatively small portion of them have been formally named and described. According to recent estimates only about a quarter of currently living species…