Grasshopper or locust?

Happened to notice what appeared to be a grasshopper clinging to a tree branch. It was partly obscured by leaves, but something about its form, shade and attitude, the way it held itself as it clutched the tree branch, made me stop in my tracks and hastily click a few pics. I resisted the urge to push away the leaves for an unobstructed view of the beastly looking creature.

Instinctively it felt safer to zoom in on the picture I had clicked for a closer look.

And look I did, till the creeping doubt grew into a series of rapid-fire questions.

Is it even a grasshopper?

What if it is a grasshopper gone wrong?

That stiff glare, tough well-formed wings, dull brown…

Could it be the dreaded locust or in the process of transforming into one? A solitary one for now, just waiting for its wild tribe to arrive so it can go destructively gregarious.

On demand, could it summon the others of its kind to form a deadly mob and wreak destruction?

Can it release some anti-predatory defence mechanism and spray toxins, if it feels threatened?

Or maybe it has just returned from a faraway marauding expedition and is in the process of transforming back to a friendly neighbourhood solo grasshopper?

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