Not Cyrano de Bergerac, but a Big Nose!

Truxalis nasuta 05
Truxalis nasuta

I have spoken before of camouflage in both the insect world here and here, and of the avian world. The other day Mrs HibernoManchego and myself took a detour to a small reservoir near our new village. She had not seen it yet and I had only discovered it the other day. It’s a beautiful spot hidden up in the hills behind a vineyard and has a multitude of species of dragonfly. Whilst showing her the Red-Eyes, Emperors, Bluets and Darters, I noticed a few blades of grass jump. Grass doesn’t jump! It turned out to be another master of camouflage who in fact is so well camouflaged it doesn’t even have a common English name. The Spanish, however, do have a name for it, the Saltamontes Narigudo (Truxalis nasuta). Literally it means The Grasshopper with a Big Nose.

Truxalis nasuta 06
Truxalis nasuta

Moving ever so slowly amongst the rushes and grass you would hardly notice this fabulous looking creature. I called Mrs. HM over slowly so as not to disturb it and keep an eye on it as I ran to the car for my camera.
It’s easily recognisable, if you can find it, by its large size, approx 7-8cm in length, its long, conical nose and elongated tail. It likes both cultivated and uncutivated land, often on sunny hillsides, but always near grasses for perching and camouflage. This one was perfectly hidden amongst the rushes near the waters edge.
According to a paper by S. K. Gangwere and E. Morales Agacino they have this to say about the genus Truxalis:
The entire subfamily Truxalinae, as interpreted in the strict sense of UVAROV (1966), is Ethiopian. It includes a few genera of extreme slant-faced grasshoppers occurring mainly in the tropical and subtropical grasslands of Africa. Its genus Truxalis is of interest because certain species of it penetrate into Mediterranean Europe and southwest Asia. Among them is T. nasuta (L,.), known outside Africa only from the southernmost parts of Europe. In the Peninsula it must be classed as ubiquitous, though best developed in the Mediterranean regions of Spain.

Truxalis nasuta 07
Truxalis nasuta

Once again I find a new species of which little seems to be known, and perhaps because of its superb camouflage it is hard to observe. I was thrilled however to be able to observe this master acting like the grasses and rushes it was in and be able to bring it to your attention in this the 101st entry of my blog HibernoManchego.

Go green, hide in bushes, camouflage yourself and find crazy wildlife in La Mancha, Spain with Oretani Wildlife.

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