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Dissection en cours © C. Gibault

A specialist in Orthoptera, Antoine Foucart began working on the Crau Plain Grasshopper as part of his thesis in the 1990s. His studies led to the discovery of the biology and ecology of this previously unknown species.

Why dissect?

During regular checks of egg pods, some appear damaged for reasons that are difficult to determine: parasites, fungi, other causes? Dissecting an egg pod therefore allows us to learn more and to improve the development conditions of Crau Plain Grasshopper eggs.

During the last dissections, Antoine Foucart was able to observe that out of the 12 to 16 eggs observed in each egg pod, some were sterile and some others were completely dry.

A bouncy development cycle

Patience and precision are needed to perform a dissection. But what a reward when beautiful, well-developed embryos are revealed through the lens of the microscope!

Embryo in the microscope © CBGP – Continental Arthropod Collection

According to observations made in previous years and to our current knowledge, embryos developing in eggs laid in June/July reach 70-80% of their development by November. This growth then slows down or even stops completely during part of the winter, only to resume in February and end in March before hatching in April.

We look forward to January 2023 to follow the development of this new generation of Crau Plain Grasshoppers!

Many thanks to Antoine Foucart and CIRAD/CBGP of Montpellier for this cooperation!


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