The sturdy carapaces of these extremely rare creatures (saltamontes del oro) are actually coated in gold dust from digging burrows in gold-bearing ore deposits to lay their eggs. It is said that if you encounter one during mating season and follow from a safe distance, the insect may lead you to a claim. The hardy saltamonteros (grasshopper hunters) of territorial New Mexico scratched out a meager living boiling the insects for their gold, until the population plummeted.
Rio Grande Golden Locust
↓ Sign up for free email delivery of most JHFARR.COM posts ↓
(PLUS exclusive photo content from my Substack newsletter!)