Physiological colour change in the chameleon grasshopper
Collaborators: Marie Herberstein, Macquarie University, Rachel Slatyer, Dept Ag and Water, Aust Govt.
The Kociuscola grasshoppers are endemic to the Australian alpine region and we are targeting them to assess their ability to adapt to climate change. We are taking a three-pronged approach, integrating landscape genomics, physiology and behaviour. Why on earth does the chameleon grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis) change colour with temperature? When its body temperature exceeds 25°C, males turn bright blue; when they are cold (<10°C) they become black. What are the physiological mechanisms that allow this change? and what is its function for the grasshopper? Someone needs to find out.
Overwintering in the spotted mountain grasshopper
This is a new study looking at the remarkable ability of Monistria grasshoppers to overwinter as adults using an anti-freeze analogue! More details to come.