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Mutant in paradise... Mutant in paradise...

Mutant in paradise...

Last season I ramped up my brugmansia hybridizing efforts using brugmansias with mutant and deeply serrated foliage.  The results of those...

Fred's Garden Blog

After a nearly five year hiatus, Fred's Garden Blog is back! Now you can enjoy and experience the gardening exploits and adventures of Fred in his quest to hybridize brugmansia and keep his jungle and nursery under control.

Sommer Gardens / Wednesday, August 10, 2011 / Categories: Garden Pests, Creatures

They're back!!!!!

When I was checking over my neglected front yard this weekend, I found it odd that my crinum lilies had no grasshopper damage this year.  They seem to be one of the favorite foods of the giant Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, or lubbers as they are commonly called.  Well Monday I got my Lubber fix when I spotted one resting on an Angel Trumpet leaf.
lubber.jpgDespite their giant size as an adult, they actually eat less than grasshoppers a fraction of their size.  They are monsters too, typically reaching 3 inches in length.  While the adults may not be big eaters, the babies sure make up for that and will strip a plant bare overnight.

lubber-3.jpgI do not think the adults have any natural predators.  Nothing wants to mess with them partly because they have natural toxins in their system that act as a poison to predators.  Even my one dog that chases anything that moves, looks the other way when one of these creatures stumble into his territory. The best way to take care of them when they are large is with a club or baseball bat.  :)

lubber-2.jpgThe lubbers do not seem to be nearly as populous as they were when I was growing up here in Clermont.  I'm sure it has to do with all the citrus groves being replaced by homes.  I remember back in my triathlon training days, on the backside of Lake Minneola, by the marshland, the lubbers would be so thick on the road that you had trouble biking and running through them.  After a couple of days the road would almost be black with squashed lubbers.

lubber-4.jpgThey sure are a beautiful creature though, especially when i see them in other peoples yards and not mine!

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