Photo of the Week – June 1, 2012

Two years ago, I photographed this little grasshopper nymph on a prairie wild rose at The Nature Conservancy’s Niobrara Valley Preserve in north-central Nebraska.  It was a mid-June morning with heavy dew – a great time to photograph insects.

This little grasshopper nymph still had half a dozen molts to go through before reaching maturity.  With each consecutive molt, a nymph sheds its exoskeleton and emerges as a slightly bigger version of itself – until its final molt, when it becomes a full adult.  In this photo, the nymph was about 1/2 inch long.