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Bugboy3092

Lubber grasshoppers

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So, I’ve recently gotten back from Florida, and during my trip I found quite a few Romalea Guttata, and I was hoping someone could shed some light on their specific care requirements. I’ve heard they’ll eat lettuce in captivity, and that a mix of potting soil and sand does well for substrate (could potting soil be replaced with coco fiber?) how deep does it need to be? Also, what are their breeding and egg specifications? Thanks!

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I have successfully bred Romalea microptera (the only lubber in FL) with pure coconut fiber, but I have also heard they are fine with pure sand. The females need to be kept in small groups, or they will start fighting over places to oviposit. I have had them lay eggs in about 3-inch deep substrate. Lettuce works, but I would provide them with a myriad of options. I always gave them organic produce. 

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Microptera and Guttata are the same species, Guttata is just the newer name for the species (like gymnetis caseyi being revised to gymnetis thula). Do they eat most grasses too? Thanks!

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It is interesting that iNaturalist still uses microptera. I think that the better question is whether there is something these grasshoppers will not eat. I have had them eat popcorn and chips (I do not recommend it though). I even had one that was delighted to find a bit of chocolate frosting on the counter! 

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Wow, I guess they do eat everything lol

do the eggs require any special care? And do females have any specific requirements for egg laying? Also, do the nymphs mainly just eat during a certain time of day? Thanks!

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I think my results for oviposition were not ideal. I have only obtained a couple oothecas from my grasshoppers. The females lay eggs in the substrate, so maybe they like a different mixture? The eggs I did get were kept in moist substrate. I had the egg container on a heat pad at one point, but I do not think this is necessary and neither is hibernation. I have not heard of timed feedings, but I doubt it is an issue, especially in captivity, where the photoperiod can be unpredictable. 

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I helped maintain a colony for several years and while we kept them in containers with either a little cocofiber or just newspaper on the bottom, we'd place 32oz deli cups mostly filled with moist sand in with them, or watch for signs that a female was ready to oviposit and put her in her own 32 overnight. We didn't heat them, but I suppose they were close enough to the heat lamps they could have gotten a bit of extra heat. All that really does is speed up hatching time, it's not necessary to make them hatch.

It's R. microptera, this is the name used on the Orthoptera Species File and is the accepted name by the International Committee of Zoological Nomenclature.

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