Namarrgon’s children growing fast

Flip Toms checks out the fully-grown _Aljurr_

In August everyone at Kakadu National Park headquarters was talking about the new arrivals - Aljurr (Leichhardt’s grasshoppers) had appeared! These fellas are like special guest stars in Kakadu, appearing each year to herald the pre-monsoon storm season of Gunumeleng. The grasshoppers take their name from the explorer Ludwig Leichhardt who wrote about the species in 1845. In the park we call them Aljurr which is the name for them in the Gundjeihmi language – they are extremely important to Bininj as they are the children of Namarrgon the lightning man. Each year, they call to their father who responds with incredible lightning displays and powerful storms! Aljurr can still be seen in the park, chomping away on just one species of plant – Pityrodia. Their colours have brightened and deepened as they’ve matured, and boy have they grown - just look at the tiny nymphs above on the Pityrodia plant and below on the same species.

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