The first observation took place on 4 April, during the inspection of the eggpods kept in the breeding aviaries set up in the coussoul! Our team observed the hatching of three “mini-grasshoppers” at the first stage of their development, which are only 9 mm long at the moment.
We had the honour of seeing them hopping around before our eyes! What a joy to be able to observe them at last after their 9 long months of dormancy and development in the eggpod under the surface of the soil.
Within the framework of the #LIFE SOS Crau Grasshopper programme, these individuals were transported in terrariums to the breeding station at the La Barben zoological garden at the end of April. Thus removed from predation, they will be able to grow and reproduce in complete safety!
They will now go through five successive stages of growth in 6 to 8 weeks, to finally become adults capable of reproducing. Reproduction is generally observed at the end of May or beginning of June depending on the weather conditions, especially the temperature.
Grasshoppers have also been observed outside the aviaries, in their natural environment. This marks the launch of the LIFE project actions such as the study of population dynamics, the capture of juveniles to be transferred to breeding stations outside the Crau, the campaign to search for grasshoppers on site using detection dogs…
Juvenile of Priontropis rhodanica © Lisbeth Zechner – CEN PACA