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Long-headed Toothpick Grasshopper

Common name for an insect in the family of grasshoppers and with the scientific name Achurum carinatum. It has a long and slender body and is at first glance somewhat reminiscent of the Conehead Katydid (fig.). Its elongated body has a segmented abdomen and reduced wings which are not suitable for flight. The head is slanted, with large oval-shaped bulging eyes and a tiny black iris towards the front, as well as a pair of flat toothpick-like segmented antennae. It has six legs, of which the posterior pair are longer and stronger than the four anterior legs, allowing it to leap over large distances. In addition, it has a pair of tiny leg-like protrusions near its mouth. It is body colour is either fresh green or yellowish brown, though the antennae are always, at least in part, brownish. It is a master of camouflage and thus is tough to detect in nature. Disguised amid vegetation it could easily be mistaken for a twig or a leaf of grass (fig.), depending on its colour and akin to stick insects (fig.). See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.