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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/what is this grasshopper


QUESTION: I found this in Belgrade montana.  It looks like a cone head but the feelers are short and look like feathers.  Do you know what it is?

ANSWER: Hi Penny
I cannot see the grasshopper up close  from this photo but I think it belongs to a small group of Short Horn grasshoppers called the Bird grasshoppers

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QUESTION: i was able to find a better photo. from what I saw, it doesn't look like the bird grasshopper. (at least not ones I found online). also, I have large black beetles, about an inch large. my son keeps them as pets. the last ones lived a year, almost to the day. now we have 6!! do they lay eggs, and are they dangerous? he may be a bug guy some day! they "piggy back" all the time, I assume that is a mating thing. I cannot believe I feed bugs as pets! thanks for your help!

ANSWER: Send me a photo of the beetles. All insects lay eggs and I do not know of dangerous beetles. Some of then can pinch you however
 Your second photo resembles a toothpick grasshopper somewhat. Perhaps a tourist returning from Florida to Montana carried one in a car. Some insects are carried by car

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black beetles
black beetles  
QUESTION: thank you for all the wonderful information! and yes, that is a long way to travel! kind of a treasure then! here is a photo of our beetles. there are three in this stack, this is how they are usually. my 5 year old holds them often and they kind of make great pets for him. no smell, live forever. we feed them veggies and grains but always wondered what they prefer to eat. thanks again.

Nice photos Penny
These beetles belong to the Family Passalidae. The Bess Bugs or Bessy Bugs. Believe it or not ,biology supply houses sell bess bugs for pets
Strangely enough when my Oldest Daughter was two or three years old I was stationed at Fort Meade, Md.  We came upon about a half dozen Bessy bugs near an old stump. She played with them for hours. As she grew up she never had a fear of insects. I started picking up insects as soon as I could walk.
 You are wise to encourage your son to maintain such an interest

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Walter Hintz


I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.


I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

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