Painted Grasshopper – Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

Every Wednesday we get a new picture prompt for the Friday Fictioneers, a writing challenge graciously hosted by our Fairy Blog Mother Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
The task of the challenge is to write a story: beginning, middle, and end, in 100 words or less. You can find all the Fictioneers’ stories when you click on the Froggy. Please read, comment, and if you like, join the fun. Everyone is welcome.


Image ©Shaktiki Sharma Used with permission for this Friday Fictioneers Challenge only. Any other use of this image requires Shaktiki Sharma’s permission.

Painted Grasshopper

Grab me and I kill you.

Well, at least I try. I squirt a yucky goo at you when you touch me. This hurts you. It burns… or maybe it just gives you a good scare.

I chose my food to protect me. What I eat is poisonous for you. When you eat it, you will die.

I make my liquid weapon from my food. And then I squirt it at you. You were warned.

My family’s gaudy. That’s what we’re called. We can jump and we can fly. The swarm comes when the rains are gone.

Life is good.


(100 words)

I pledgeI was fascinated by the grasshopper and had to know what it is. I found out that it lives in India, is a painted grasshopper called Ak grasshopper (Poekilocerus pictus) and belongs to the family of gaudy grasshoppers. While I did my research, the dangerous beast forced me to tell its story. I’m scared…

I didn’t think I’d have time this week, but since the bus that gets me home (3 1/2 hour drive) is 3 hours late, I thought, what better way to pass the time…


65 thoughts on “Painted Grasshopper – Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

    1. Thank you. I didn’t go into ‘deep research mode’ and just read the easily available information, which isn’t all too detailed. I doubt that humans would have to fear these critters, but a bird, or lizard would think twice of eating them after having that goo squirted into their eyes. 🙂


    1. Bright patterns or colours are often warning signs: I have poison, don’t eat me. Some others, that catch or trap their prey are usually trying to look inconspicuous. And then there are the harmless ones that only look dangerous… I’m glad you liked the perspective. Thank you Rochelle. 🙂


    1. I was as amazed, I had no idea grasshoppers had this kind of defence. I doubt that humans have anything to fear from it, but natural predators like other insects, lizards or birds would be repelled. Thank you.


    1. I doubt that we have to fear them, but birds, lizards and the like would. Getting that goo squirted into a birds eyes or beak would be a strong repellent I’d think. That, and the pattern and colours would leave an impression. 🙂 I love these colours. I’m glad you liked. Thank you Joy.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, now there’s an idea. A spell gone wrong and you have giant grasshoppers. Or for Science Fiction, genetical engineering of locusts as a food source (apparently they taste somewhat like crabs) and it spreads to all kinds of species, including the ones that squirt goo… 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          1. There are some realistic limitations on how large a creature can get and maintain a exoskeleton structure, but hey, if we add magic and/or a more oxygen-rich environment, I’m sure we could stretch those physical rules. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, or they pretend to be (hooverflies for instance look like wasps or bees, but have no poison or sting.) The bird or lizard that wants to eat these grasshoppers though should think twice. Yucky goo in your eyes is no fun… Thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Except for predators (and even some of them) the major mantra in life is: avoid being eaten. There are very many defense mechanisms or ways to repel. Off the top of my head: true bugs eject a stinky substance when they’re stressed, spiders can grow back legs when they lose them. Lizards can throw off their tails, sea cucumbers squirt a sticky goo at attackers, some frogs and toads have very poisonous skin, there’s the ink of squids… plants have a fair amount of defense mechanisms as well, from thorns to irritants to bad taste to poison. And sometimes it’s just survival through numbers. I don’t know how many grasshoppers have the squirty defense though (in case you didn’t really want a lecture 😉 ). Thank you Sandra.


  1. That’s a long wait for a bus – I hope you complained? But a great result. I, too, researched the insect through Google images, and thought it was the Large Painted Locust from the Galapagos Islands. More destructive than your grasshopper, I fear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Liz. The pictures I saw from the Galapagos locust was a bit different, no white stripes on the antennae, and some red on the legs. I’m quite certain that this one here is the Indian Ak grasshopper, which can swarm and do locust-like damage as well, from what I’ve read. I didn’t go into deep research though, just what was available with a quick search.
      About the bus: I didn’t need to complain, I got a free ticket to anywhere in Germany. I could have taken another bus that went that way, but the only one due was late as well, so I thought I wait it out. It doesn’t happen often, I’ve been using the bus since 2014 (this kind of bus wasn’t allowed in Germany until then) once a week almost every week, and this was the first time that it was that late. Usually they are late because of traffic, but often not more than 30 to 45 minutes. So, it was a bit stressful, but no real reason to be mad. They keep the travellers informed through SMS when there are delays, this works quite well.


    1. I think they’re making use of the source, the poisonous milkweed that the grasshopper eats. It contains many interesting compounds. I’m not absolutely sure though, my research was quick and superficial. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bugs have to fight pretty hard to survive, don’t they?When ever I watch nature shows, it reminds me how hard creatures must fight to stay alive and how we just squash them. Love your story, Gah.


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