Last September in the south of Spain, I came across an insect, a grasshopper of the Acrididae family (I believe), that struck me by its unusual behaviour.
I was getting closer to the individual to take a quick picture, but the it turned out that it was not fleeing from me, as I had expected. In fact, it:
- stayed pretty much in the same spot, taking only a few steps backwards at a time
- swayed from side to side, sometimes slowly and other times more rapidly
- jumped away only when I was less than 10 cm from it, if not closer.
Some people suggested that the “swaying” was a sort of defence mechanism, whereas others thought that the guy might have been ill. I side with the latter explanation since not jumping is putting it more at risk of predation.
Anyone have any thoughts, either on the species or on the behaviour?