A brand new species has just been discovered in Irma Booysen Flora Reserve!! We introduce to you… the Leaproach…genus Saltoblattella or ‘cockroach that jumps’ !
This is not a ‘yukkie, crawl up through the drains and over the food’ cockroach but a very unusual insect genus first described in 2011 and only found in the Cape Floristic Region.
This recent find in IBFR by Jonathan Colville from the South African National Biodiversity Institute at Kirstenbosch Cape Town, represents the eastern most record of a Leaproach and is thus highly significant.
Approximately 10mm in length, these Leaproaches can jump 48 times their body length. With grasshopper like hind legs, they rival and even outperform grasshoppers as they leap from stem to stem among plants and restios.
The Leaproach is arguably the most attractive species with beautiful silvery white and black striping. The natural diet of the Leaproach is largely unknown, but in captivity it feeds on a range of plant-based foods, it has also been observed to feed on grasshopper droppings!
This important discovery vindicates our collective conservation efforts thus far. Your support of FOSTER has directly aided the local conservation effort and we thank you wholeheartedly. The Leaproach is your discovery, and yours to protect.