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Large painted locust

Large painted locust
© Dan Wright

Common name:

Large painted locust

Scientific name:

Schistocerca melanocera

Spanish name:

Saltamontes pintado

Conservation status:

Least Concern


Maximum size:

8 centimetres


The large painted locust is one of two species of painted locust endemic to the Galapagos Islands. First described by Carl Stål in 1861, they can easily be identified by their bright colouration. 

They are found on all islands except for Española, where the small painted locust is present.  They are abundant in the lowlands, particularly after heavy rainfall, and can often be seen surrounding lights on the inhabited islands. They are predated on by lava lizards and the Galapagos hawk. 

The large painted locust is not closely related to any mainland species, but it is believed they most likely colonised the Galapagos Islands by flight as they are very strong fliers. They are also very good jumpers, easily able to reach up to 3 metres. 

Large painted locusts in Galapagos

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