• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Acknowledgement
 Introduction
 Quick guide to common Florida...
 Synopsis of Florida grasshopper...
 Reference
 Checklist of Florida grasshopp...
 Glossary
 General index
 Florida maps






Title: Grasshoppers of Florida
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 Material Information
Title: Grasshoppers of Florida
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Capinera, John L.
Publisher: Gainesville : Department of Entomology and Nematology, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University Press of Florida
Publication Date: 1999
 Notes
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066916
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: Copyright 1999 by John L. Capinera. This work is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/. You are free to electronically copy, distribute, and transmit this work if you attribute authorship. However, all printing rights are reserved by the University Press of Florida (http://www.upf.com). Please contact UPF for information about how to obtain copies of the work for print distribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the University Press of Florida. Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's moral rights.
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title page
    Table of Contents
        i
        ii
    Acknowledgement
        iii
    Introduction
        Page 1
        What is a grasshopper
            Page 2
            Page 3
        The life history of grasshoppers
            Page 4
        The ecological significance of grasshoppers
            Page 5
            Page 6
        Grasshopper habitats
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
        Grasshoppers as pests
            Page 12
        What is a species
            Page 13
        Collecting and preserving grasshoppers
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
    Quick guide to common Florida grasshoppers
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Synopsis of Florida grasshopper species
        Page 20 (MULTIPLE)
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Silent slantfaced grasshoppers
            Page 27
        Bandwinged grasshoppers
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
        Spurthroated grasshoppers
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
        Lubber grasshoppers
            Page 64
    Reference
        Page 65
    Checklist of Florida grasshoppers
        Page 66
        Page 67
    Glossary
        Page 68
        Page 69
    General index
        Page 70
        Page 71
    Florida maps
        Page 72
Full Text
Grasshoppers of Florida


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Florida Grasshoppers Table of Contents


Grasshoppers of Florida Table of Contents

1999 by University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Photos @1999 John L. Capinera


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About this Publication (34KB)
Introduction (145KB)
o What is a grasshopper
o The Parts of a grasshopper
o The Life History of Grasshoppers
o The Ecological Significance of Grasshoppers
o Grasshopper Habitats (168KB)
o Grasshoppers as Pests (132KB)
o What is a Species?
o Collecting and Preserving Grasshoppers

Quick Guide to Common Florida Grasshoppers (109KB)

Synopsis of Florida Grasshopper Species
o Stridulating Slant-faced Grasshoppers (194KB)
Subfamily Gomphocerinae
o Silent Slant-faced Grasshoppers (86KB)
Subfamily Acridinae
o Band-winged Grasshoppers
Subfamily Oedipodinae
Banded Winged Grasshoppers
o Spur-throated Grasshoppers
Subfamily Cyrtacanthacridinae
Aptenopedes Melanoplus forcipatus (224KB)
Melanoplus furcatus Melanoplus scudderi (226KB)
Melanoplus strumosus Stenacris vitreipennis (219KB)
o Lubber Grasshoppers (84KB)




Florida Grasshoppers Table of Contents
Subfamily Romaleinae

Other Sources of Information (56KB)

Checklist of Florida Grasshoppers (80KB)

Glossary (56KB)

Index (71KB)

Florida Maps (228KB)

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About this publication
This is the first color guide to grasshoppers in the southeastern United States. The grasshoppers
rival butterflies and beetles for beauty, and surpass nearly all other insect groups for their
abundance and ecological importance. Grasshoppers are usually the most abundant of the
large insects in all Florida ecosystems, and are a critical food resource for birds and other small
vertebrates. Over one-fourth of Florida's grasshoppers are unique, found nowhere else in the
world. All of the acridid grasshoppers found in Florida are included in this guide. Over 100
color photographs, numerous line drawings, and nontechnical descriptions provide for easy
and rapid identification. Also included are information on anatomy, life history, ecological
significance, geographical distribution, and the management of grasshopper pests. This is the
perfect guide for young people who are interested in collecting insects, and for people of all
ages who are interested in learning about natural history.

About the authors
John Capinera is professor and chairman of the Department of Entomology and Nematology
at the University of Florida. Although John has broad interests in insect ecology and in crop
pest management, for over 20 years he has been particularly fascinated by grasshoppers, and
has published numerous articles on grasshopper biology. Clay Scherer and Jason Squitier are
graduate students in entomology at the University of Florida. Both Clay and Jason conducted
research on the relationship of grasshopper diversity and abundance to plant availability and
community structure.

Acknowledgments
Preparation of this publication was supported by Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and
it is produced as publication R-05862. The line drawings and page layout were developed by
Pat Hope; editing assistance and web preparation were provided by Jane Medley, both of
Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida.









introduction

The purpose of this guide to the grasshoppers (family Acrididae) found in Florida is to describe
and portray the species in a manner that allows ready identification by the reader. It is designed
for anyone interested in natural history, not just scientists and future scientists. In striving to
make it "user friendly" we have attempted to minimize scientific terminology. Where it was
necessary to use scientific terminology, we provide definitions and drawings to increase com-
prehension and ease of use. Where possible, we have used both the common, or English,
name and the scientific name, for both grasshopper species and subfamilies. Most of the com-
mon names originate with Blatchley (1920) or Helfer (1972). There is nearly universal agree-
ment on the scientific names, but not the common names. Therefore, it is really better to use
the seemingly unpronounceable scientific names, because at least there is some consistency.
The body length measurements provided in the text are total maximum body length, includ-
ing wings but excluding antennae and legs. Therefore, for long-winged species the measure-
ments are taken from the front of the head to the tip of the folded wings. For short-winged
species, of course, the measurements are taken from the front of the head to the tip of the
abdomen. All measurements are given in millimeters (mm); if you would like to use inches, just
remember that there are 25 mm to the inch.
Grasshoppers are among the largest and most plentiful of insects, yet they are poorly known.
With this guide you can identify all the grasshopper species that inhabit Florida, and many
species also found in nearby states. It appears that there are 70 species in Florida. You also can
learn about their natural history, their distribution within the state, and how to collect and
preserve them. It is hard to imagine another group of insects so accessible and identifiable, yet
providing so exciting a challenge for collectors. To collect examples of all of Florida's grasshop-
pers, one must be willing to traverse the state from the Panhandle to the Lake Okeechobee
area and endure the rigors of Florida's hot, humid, sandy, marshy and densely forested habi-
tats. Because many of Florida's grasshoppers are poorly known, you can make a real contribu-
tion to the scientific study of insects by recording where these species are found, what they feed
upon, and the time of the year they are abundant.
A central repository for insects and insect biology is the collection of the state insect mu-
seum, which consists of over 7 million insects:

Florida State Collection of Arthropods
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Plant Industry
1911 SW 34th Street
Gainesville, Florida 32608


1








What is a Grasshopper?


There are several closely related groups of insects in the order Orthoptera that are sometimes
called grasshoppers. However, most entomologists and non-entomologists consider only in-
sects in the family Acrididae to mean "grasshopper." Indeed, we consider only members of this
family in our treatment of Florida grasshoppers. Acrididae are sometimes referred to as the
short-horned grasshoppers, a reference to their relatively short antennae. However, other fami-
lies that are sometimes thought of as grasshoppers include the Tetrigidae, or pygmy grasshop-
pers; the Eumastacidae, or monkey grasshoppers; the Tanaoceridae, or desert long-horned
grasshoppers; the Tettigoniidae, or long-horned grasshoppers or katydids; the Gryllacrididae,
or wingless long-horned grasshoppers; and perhaps other small families. Other than the acridids,
only the tettigoniids are known to most people, and they are usually known as katydids or
coneheads. Of the grasshoppers and their close relatives, only Acrididae and Tettigoniidae are
common in Florida.
Acridid grasshoppers usually are large insects. Their antennae are relatively short, usually
less than half the length of their body. Acridids may be winged or wingless, but if winged they
have four wings. Wing size varies considerably. Short-winged forms are flightless, whereas
long-winged forms are sometimes strong fliers. The forewings, or first pair of wings, are some-
what thickened and pigmented. They are called tegmina. The hind wings are not thickened,
and may range from unpigmented to brightly colored. The hind wings often are large, fan-
shaped, and fold up under the forewings when the insect is not in flight. Grasshoppers tend to
have long legs. The hind legs are especially elongate and enlarged to facilitate leaping, as well
as armed with spines for defense.
Grasshoppers produce sound by rubbing one part of the body against another, though the
parts involved may vary. Their hearing is often aided by the presence of tympana, auditory
organs on the sides of the first abdominal segment. Singing is performed principally by males
as part of their courtship ritual.



hind femur
pronotum hind fetibia
forewing






spur
lateral tarsus
lobe of spe
pronotum

head thorax abdomen


The Parts of a Grasshopper

The morphology, or appearance, of grasshoppers can seem complex, especially because of the
foreign-sounding names affixed to many structures. However, one need examine only the color
and shape of a few structures to accurately identify grasshoppers. It is not much more difficult
than identifying birds, and often does not require great magnification. Grasshoppers can be
identified with no more than a 10 hand lens, which is readily available from any hobby shop.
We have attempted to simplify the identification of grasshoppers by minimizing the use of
terminology and by providing a glossary and drawings of the body parts.


2








The grasshopper body is divided into 3 basic components: the head, which bears the sen-
sory structures such as eyes, antennae, and mouthparts; the thorax, which bears the structures
associated with movement, namely the legs and wings; and the abdomen, which bears the
digestive and reproductive structures. A few elements associated with each of these body seg-
ments provide the key structures for grasshopper identification.
On the grasshopper head, the principal structures used for identification are the antennae,
sensory structures attached to the front of the head between the eyes. Most grasshopper anten-
nae consist of a string of small, barrel-like segments, although the individual segments are
sometimes quite elongate. Some species, however, have flattened antennal segments, and
many have flattened segments that are larger toward the base of the antenna and smaller
toward the tip. Such antennae are said to be sword-shaped. A feature that is important in a few
species is the shape of the vertical, flattened, elevated structure on the front of the head, called
the frontal ridge.


antenna

median ridge
leading edge
forewing sulcus
.:lateral ridge


wing tip
band

Sfemur

hind wi
abdomen -0
cercus -0 i tibia


supra-anal plate tarsus




The thorax consists of three segments, although this is not readily apparent because the first
of the three segments, the prothorax, is enlarged and covers the other segments when viewed
from above. The prothorax often bears longitudinal ridges, sometime called carinae. The shape
of the medial or central ridge, or the paired lateral ridges, is sometimes diagnostic. The ridges
may be cut by crevices, called sulci. One pair of legs is attached to each of the thoracic seg-
ments, with the third pair, or hind legs, enlarged. The important hind leg segments, from the
perspective of identification, are the large, thickened femur (plural, femora) and the long, thin
tibia (plural, tibiae). Attached to the second and third thoracic segments are the wings (if they
are present). The forewings, also called tegmina, attach to the middle, or second, thoracic
segment, and tend to be narrow, thickened and pigmented. The forewings overlay the hind
wings, which are attached to the posterior, or third, thoracic segment. The hind wings usually
are broad, thin, and transparent. The hind wings provide most of the lift used for flight, and
remain folded and unseen until the insect flies. Wing length varies within some species, but is
commonly used to distinguish among species. Species that inhabit open environments where
flight is easy, such as pastures and marshes, usually are long-winged (macropterous). In con-
trast, species that inhabit dense vegetation and undergrowth, where flight is perhaps more
difficult, are more likely to be short-winged brachypterouss).


3








The abdomen is the largest and hindmost compo-
nent of the grasshopper body. It bears the reproduc-
tive structures terminally. In some groups, small paired
appendages called cerci are species-specific in shape
among males. Another structure that aids identifica-
tion is the furcula, a forked organ in which only the
two tips of the fork are visible, making it appear that
there are two structures rather than one. In males, the
furcula rests on a broad, flat, dorsal plate near the tip
of the abdomen called a supra-anal plate. The tip
of the abdomen in males is called the subgenital
plate. It is mostly a ventral and apical structure, topped
dorsally by the supra-anal plate. The shapes of both
the supra-anal plate and subgenital plate sometimes
have diagnostic value. Beneath the supra-anal plate
of males is the aedeagus, or penis. We do not de-
scribe this structure because it is internal, and exami-
nation requires difficult manipulation of the specimen
and significant magnification. However, the form of
the aedeagus may be critical in sexual compatibility,
and its shape is an excellent indicator of identity in
some grasshoppers.
In females, the tip of the abdomen is dominated by
the ovipositor. It consists of curved, pointed struc-
tures that open upwards and downwards. The ovi-
positor is inserted into the soil and used to dig a hole
to prepare for egg laying. The ovipositor has great di-
agnostic value in distinguishing the sex, but very lim-
ited value in species identification.


supra-anal plate cercus


Female

Tip of abdomen in adult male and female
grasshoppers.


The Life History of Grasshoppers

The life history of grasshoppers is relatively simple, although it varies somewhat among differ-
ent species. The principal stages are the egg, nymph, and adult. Grasshoppers undergo gradual
metamorphosis (i.e., the nymph gradually changes to the adult form), in contrast to the
higher insects, which undergo complete metamorphosis (i.e., there is a pupal stage between
the immature and adult stages).
Adult females produce eggs, which are deposited in clusters, usually in the soil. Clusters of
eggs are usually held together by a frothy secretion that, when dry, forms a rigid covering over
the eggs. The eggs and frothy secretion are collectively known as an egg pod. A pod may
contain 4 to over 100 eggs, depending on the grasshopper species. Grasshoppers typically pass
winter in the egg stage. In Florida, however, many species survive the winter months in the
nymphal and adult forms. This is especially true in the southern half of the state.
When a grasshopper egg hatches, the young grasshopper digs its way through the soil to the
surface and molts into an active form capable of walking, hopping, and eating. The active
stage between hatching and adulthood is called a nymph. This first active form is known as the
first instar. It is followed by additional molts until it has experienced (usually) 5 or 6 instars, and
is ready for its final molt to the adult form. The principal reason that insects molt, or shed their
old body covering, is because the covering is not elastic and inhibits growth. Thus, each time
the grasshopper nymph molts it produces a larger body covering, and the nymph gets larger
and larger. As grasshopper nymphs grow the wings begin to develop, but they are not fully
formed until the adult stage. Sexual structures, such as the ovipositor in females, also develop
as the grasshoppers grow. These, too, are not fully formed until the adult stage.


4













Instar 1




Instar 3




Instar 5
Anterior region c
nymphs showing
that are used to disti
"typical" species.


The nymphal instars can be distinguished by the shape
of the wing pads. The wing pads initially are very short
and broadly rounded, but become slightly elongated in
instar 2. Instars 3 and 4 have more elongate, downward
Instar 2 pointing wing pad tips, and display some weak wing veins.
In instars 5 and 6 the wing pads are inverted; they point
upward or back instead of downward, and only one pair
of wings is visible. In grasshoppers with only five instars,
the pattern is much the same, but the fourth nymphal stage
Instar 4 is absent from the developmental sequence.
Adult grasshoppers can reproduce, and have fully
formed sexual organs, some of which are visible exter-
Snally. They also have fully formed wings. Many species
are macropterous, or long-winged, which means that the
Instar 6 wings extend nearly to the tip of the abdomen or beyond.
)f grasshopper Many of Florida's grasshoppers, however, are brachypter-
wing characters ous, or short-winged, in the adult stage. Such wings are
nguish instars in typically oval and extend only about one-third the length
of the abdomen. A few species are wingless, or nearly so,
in the adult stage. It can be difficult to distinguish between


immatures and adults when adults can be long-winged, short-winged, and wingless! However,
if you look for obvious, fully formed genitalia, and wings extending at least one-third the length
of the abdomen, you will identify most adults accurately. Only in a few species are adults likely
to look like immatures, and they are easily recognized from pictures.
In the "typical" grasshopper life cycle, eggs hatch in the spring, nymphs develop through
the summer, adults mate and produce eggs in the late summer and autumn, and the winter is
passed in the egg stage. How many grasshoppers conform to this scenario? In northern Florida,
most species seem to conform. In southern Florida it is not uncommon to have nymphs and
adults present nearly year round. Unfortunately, grasshoppers have been poorly studied in
Florida, so in most cases we do not know much about seasonal development. In the case of
Schistocerca americana we know that there are two generations annually, with adults overwin-
tering. Clearly this is not a "typical" grasshopper, but how many other species have interesting
and unusual biology? Your field observations may help us learn the biologies of other species.


The Ecological Significance of Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers often appear to be the most abundant aboveground insects. This is especially
true in open, sunny, dry habitats such as prairies and pastures, but it also sometimes applies to
open woods, salt marshes, and disturbed areas such as crop fields. Grasshoppers exert ecologi-
cal impact and may be the dominant herbivores, or plant-feeders, in some communities.
Plant feeding by grasshoppers can deplete plant biomass and damage crops. It can shift
plant-community structure due to differential plant preference by grasshoppers. In extreme
cases, herbivory can cause ecosystem damage. This can occur directly, from disruption of
habitat by loss of vegetation, or indirectly, through increased erosion caused by reduced veg-
etation. Such habitat damage is rare, however, especially in areas with high rainfall, such as the
southeastern states.
Grasshoppers are significant due to their numbers and to their role in nutrient cycling.
Grasshoppers consume large amounts, often eating their body weight in plant tissue daily. The
consumption of plant tissue affects the relative abundance of different plant species in an area,
due to selective feeding behavior by grasshoppers. Grasshoppers also hasten the degradation
of cellulose and other materials by breaking up the plants into smaller pieces that can be
attacked by soil flora and fauna. Grasshopper fecal material, in particular, is easily degraded,
resulting in increased solubility of chemical nutrients essential for plant growth. Degradation of
fecal material and clipped foliage causes rapid release of nutrients into the soil, favoring new


5








plant growth. Without plant feeders such as grasshoppers, much of the nutrients in an area
would be bound up in dead plant tissue, insoluble, and unavailable for plant uptake. Nutrient
cycling is especially important in the warm, sandy soils commonly found in Florida, because
they are inherently nutrient-poor.
Grasshoppers are also ecologically significant because they convert plant tissue into large
"bite-sized" units of animal material, and serve as food for vertebrate animals. Animal tissue is
much more nutritious than plant material, especially for young and rapidly growing animals
which need the high levels of protein and lipids found in grasshoppers. Grasshoppers are large
enough, and abundant enough, that they attract the attention of large numbers of vertebrate
animals such as reptiles, birds, skunks, raccoons, foxes, and mice, which regularly consume
them. For insect-feeding birds, such as meadowlarks and cattle egrets, grasshoppers are often
the principal element of the diet, and their survival and reproductive efficiency may be directly
related to abundance of grasshoppers. Other species, such as kestrels and bluebirds, feed ex-
tensively on grasshoppers, but readily switch to other insects if grasshoppers are in short sup-
ply. Some birds, such as sparrows, feed heavily on vegetable matter, principally seed, but feed
their young on insects almost exclusively.
Grasshoppers are large enough and abundant enough that hunting exclusively for grasshop-
pers is an energetically efficient activity for many bird species. Grasshoppers are 50-75% crude
protein. Without grasshoppers to consume, many vertebrate animals would suffer from lack of
a suitable source of animal protein. In some parts of the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa,
grasshoppers are also a component of the human diet.
Many of Florida's grasshoppers contribute substantially to biodiversity. In fact, 18 of the
grasshopper species found in Florida are precinctive (sometimes called endemic or indig-
enous) found nowhere else in the world. The species unique to Florida are:


Eotettix palustris (Morse)
Eotettix signatus Scudder
Eritettix obscurus (Scudder)
Hesperotettix osceola Hebard
Melanoplus adelogyrus Hubbell
Melanoplus apalachicolae Hubbell
Melanoplus davisi (Hebard)
Melanoplus forcipatus Hubbell
Melanoplus gurneyi Strohecker
Melanoplus indicifer Hubbell
Melanoplus nanciae Deyrup
Melanoplus ordwayae Deyrup
Melanoplus puer (Scudder)
Melanoplus pygmaeus Davis
Melanoplus withlacoocheensis Squitier
and Deyrup
Melanoplus symmetricus Morse
Melanoplus tequestae Hubbell
Schistocerca ceratiola Hubbell and Walker


Swamp eastern grasshopper
Handsome Florida grasshopper
Obscure slantfaced grasshopper
Osceola's grasshopper
St. Johns' spurthroat grasshopper
Apalachicola spurthroat grasshopper
Davis' oak grasshopper
Toothcercus spurthroat grasshopper
Gurney's spurthroat grasshopper
Spinecercus spurthroat grasshopper
Ocala clawcercus grasshopper
Trail ridge scrub grasshopper
Florida least spurthroat grasshopper
Pygmy spurthroat grasshopper
Withlacoochee grasshopper

Symmetrical spurthroat grasshopper
Tequesta spurthroat grasshopper
Rosemary grasshopper


Thus, about 25% of Florida's grasshoppers are unique to Florida. They are a rich biotic
resource that is not readily available to other peoples of the world. Florida's citizens and gov-
ernment agencies that are concerned about biotic diversity should recognize the ecological
significance of this poorly known group of animals. Unlike many other groups of insects, cur-
rently there are no exotic or introduced species among Florida's grasshoppers. Many species
of grasshoppers found in Florida have a fairly wide geographic range, often the southeastern
states or the entire area east of the Rocky Mountains.


6








In addition to the species that are truly unique to Florida, there are several other species that
have been found in nearby states, usually southern Georgia, but whose range is substantially
restricted to Florida. This is the case for at least 6 species, and possibly others:

Gymnoscirtetes morsei Hebard Morse's wingless grasshopper
Gymnoscirtetes pusillus Scudder Little wingless grasshopper
Hesperotettix floridensis Morse Florida purplestriped grasshopper
Melanoplus furcatus Scudder Larger forktailed grasshopper
Melanoplus rotundipennis (Scudder) Roundwing spurthroat grasshopper
Spharagemon crepitans (Saussure) Crepitating grasshopper

It is interesting that over 90% of the species restricted to Florida (17 of 18 species) or nearly
restricted to Florida (5 of 6 species) are in the subfamily Cyrtacanthacridinae, and that most of
these are in the genus Melanoplus. This genus seems to be prone to speciation, and throughout
North America there are species of Melanoplus with limited geographic distribution. The south-
eastern and far western states seem to support a disproportionate number of such species,
however, probably due to the type of habitat. The heavily forested southeastern states tend to
have an abundance of short-winged species among the precinctive species. Of the 18 precinctive
species, only one or two are long-winged and capable of flight. Prevailing thought on the
evolution of wing length suggests that grasshoppers occupying open habitats such as grass-
lands campestrall species) make effective use of long wings, whereas those dwelling in woods
and thick underbrush (sylvan species) obtain little advantage from flight, and tend to have
short wings. Thus, forested habitat leads to reduced flight, which leads to reduced genetic
interchange, resulting in enhanced speciation.
The trend toward frequent speciation among short-winged grasshoppers in Florida may be
reinforced by the occurrence of "biological islands." Florida has some isolated plant communi-
ties associated with sandy ridges remaining from earlier times when the level of the ocean was
higher. The speciation associated with these island remnants rivals the extraordinary pattern of
evolution found among finches in the Galapagos Islands, a phenomenon made famous by the
pioneering naturalist and evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin. This interesting pattern has
not been well documented or popularized in Florida, still awaiting the attention of ambitious
local biologists. See the section on "What is a Species?" for further discussion of this topic.

Grasshopper Habitats

There are few habitats in Florida that do not support grasshopper populations. The general rule
is that if low-growing plants are present, grasshoppers can be found feeding on them. We are
aware of only two habitat types where it is difficult to find grasshoppers. The first is mature,
dense forest, especially pine plantations and tropical hardwood forests. In such habitat virtually
no light reaches the soil, and there is no understory vegetation on which grasshoppers can
feed. This does not mean that grasshoppers are totally absent, because small breaks in the
canopy are inevitable, and grasshoppers locate and inhabit these areas where low-growing
vegetation exists. Also, some grasshopper species feed on pine or broadleaf tree foliage, but
these are not numerous and are difficult to observe.
The other habitat where grasshoppers are rare is swamps, both mangrove swamps and
freshwater swamps. Although strong fliers such as the Schistocerca species may sometimes be
observed within mangroves, they are infrequent. Mangroves inhabit coastal areas, where their
roots usually are immersed in water, usually salt water. Freshwater swamps are often associated
with rivers, which provide seasonal flooding. Flooding makes swamps inhospitable to grass-
hoppers, nearly all of which deposit eggs in soil.
The ecosystems of Florida are extremely diverse, and have been classified in several ways
depending on the authors assessment of the significance of soil, plant communities, water
relations, topography, etc. Some ecosystems represent very small areas of Florida, or differ
only slightly from related ecosystems. We present here a synopsis of the principal natural terres-
trial ecosystems in Florida, followed by some widespread artificial ecosystems, and a discus-
sion of their suitability for grasshoppers:


7








1. Upland Ecosystems


Pine Flatwoods. This is the most extensive of the terrestrial ecosys-
tems in Florida. It is characterized by low, flat topography and poorly
drained, acidic, sandy soil. Pine flatwoods are open forests of longleaf
or slash pine, with an understory of saw palmetto, gallberry, runner
oak, wiregrass, and other forbs and grasses. The pine flatwoods ecosys-
tem is maintained by frequent fire. This habitat is moderately suitable
for grasshoppers, depending on the density of understory vegetation,
Especially palmetto, which may crowd out plants more suitable for grass-
hopper food.

Dry Prairie. Dry prairies are similar to pine flatwoods, except that
Pine flatwoods the pine overstory is absent. This ecosystem historically was maintained
by fire. The plant density apparently is higher now than in pre-settle-
ment times, probably because uncontrolled fires are less frequent. This habitat ranges from
moderately suitable to very suitable for grasshoppers. Suitability is directly related to grass and
forbs density, because saw palmetto and the other shrubs found in this ecosystem are not very
suitable food sources for most grasshoppers.

Scrub. Scrub is an extremely xeric community with
dense vegetation. Typically it consists of scrub oaks andl
rosemary, with or without a pine overstory, growing on
well-drained, sandy, infertile soil. Plant density can be quite
high. Dominant species often include sand pine, sand live
oak, myrtle oak, Chapman's oak, saw and scrub palmetto,
and rosemary. The ground cover consists of litter and li-
chens on bare soil, and the condition is maintained by
infrequent fire. Scrub areas are fairly limited in scope. The Scrub habitat
largest areas are in the vicinity of Ocala National Forest
and in the area just north of Lake Okeechobee, but small
areas exist throughout the state, especially along the central east coast and the coastal area of
the Panhandle region. Grasshopper density tends to be low in scrub areas, but some of the
more interesting and rare species occur in this habitat.

High Pine. This is an open ecosystem, with longleaf
pines providing a fairly open canopy and the soil covered
with perennial grasses, commonly wiregrass. High pine
areas have well-drained soil and may support oaks, espe-
cially turkey oak, at various densities. High pine areas are
common throughout northern and central Florida south
to about Sebring, near Lake Okeechobee. This ecosys-
tem is maintained by frequent but low intensity fire. High
pine habitats support moderate to high densities of grass-
hoppers because wiregrass and other abundant grasses
and forbs are good hosts for many grasshopper species.
High pine is also called sandhill habitat (top left), which
is equally descriptive terminology. Associated with high
pine, and to a lesser degree scrub habitat, are relatively
small areas with poor drainage that are called cutthroat
S- seeps (bottom left). Seeps are characterized by open slash
pine forest with a thick understory of grass, including cut-
Hiah nine habitats. Ton: sandhill throat grass.


Bottom: cutthroat seep.
Bottom: cutthroat seep.


8








Temperate Hardwood. In Florida, hardwood forests are called "ham-
mocks." Temperate hardwood forests are located principally along the
northern border of Florida in the Panhandle region, and the northwest-
ern region of peninsular Florida south to about Tampa. This ecosystem
is highly diverse, with numerous species of trees sharing dominance at
any location, and dominance varying among locations. Oaks, southern
magnolia, black cherry, dogwood, black gum, sweetgum, pignut hickory
and mockernut hickory usually dominate, but pines also may be present.
Mature hardwood forest shades out grasses and most other suitable grass-
hopper food, so densities of these insects tend to be low.

Temperate hardwood South Florida Rockland. The elevated areas of southern Florida
are usually associated with outcroppings of limestone. The soils are or-
ganic and only slightly acid. This represents a small area of Florida. Most of this ecosystem
between Miami and Homestead, and in the Florida Keys, has been converted to residential or
agricultural uses. There are two rather distinct habitats found within this ecosystem: tropical
broadleaf hammock and pineland. Tropical broadleaf hammock is dominated by evergreen
or semievergreen tropical broadleaf trees such as gumbo limbo, pigeon plum, wild tamarind,
strangler fig, and live oak. Vines, small trees and shrubs are common, but due to the dense
foliage there are few low-growing plants and few grasshoppers. The other habitat is pineland,
or Everglades flatwoods, which has an open overstory dominated by slash pine, a few shrubs
and forbs, and an abundance of grasses such as bluestem, muhly, and windmillgrass. Although
low in elevation, these sites remain wet for only brief periods. Pineland is maintained by fre-
quent fire. The pineland habitat, in contrast to the tropical broadleaf habitat, supports an abun-
dance of grasshoppers.


2. Freshwater Wetlands

Swamps. Swamps are characterized by standing water and satu-
rated soil for at least part of the year, and usually are found along rivers.
In Florida, swamps may experience fire. Swamps are quite diverse, and
difficult to characterize. They are found throughout the state, except for
the southeastern region. The most common tree associated with swamps
in Florida is cypress, but palms, black gum, red maple, oaks, willow,
and punktree are common elements. Various shrubs, vines, epiphytes,
and even insectivorous plants can be common in this habitat. Aquatic
insects, but not grasshoppers, are common in this wet environment.
Swamp
Marshes. Marshes are similar to swamps in that they
tend to have standing water for part of the year, and to be
dominated by emergent vegetation. However, marshes tend
to lack trees and often form in low areas in the absence of
rivers. Marshes are most common centrally, from Orlando
south to Homestead. They are most expansive south of
Lake Okeechobee, an area known as the Everglades.
The vegetative composition of marshes varies consider-
ably. Highland marshes tend to have greater diversity, pos-
sessing maidencane, cordgrass, beakrush, saw grasses,
water lily, arrowhead, and many others. At the other end
of the spectrum is the Everglades, where a number of spe-
cies occur, but saw grasses dominate. Marsh plants, par-
ticularly saw grass, are well adapted to fire. Marsh plants
are exploited by certain species of grasshoppers, including
some that seem to be well adapted for feeding on emer-
gent grasses.


iviarsnes


9








3. Coastal Ecosystems


Salt Marsh. Salt marshes occur along both the Atlan-
tic and Gulf coasts, but only in limited areas. Along the
Atlantic coast they occur south to about Merritt Island, or
the latitude of Orlando. Along the west coast they occur
north of Tampa, especially in the Big Bend region, and
intermittently west to Pensacola. East coast marshes are
dominated by smooth cordgrass, whereas Gulf coast
marshes contain mostly black needlerush. Salt marshes
Salt marsh provide good habitat for a few species of grasshoppers,
which can be moderately abundant.

Mangrove Swamp. Mangrove swamps tend to replace
salt marshes in the southern portion of the state, although
mangroves may occur along most of Florida's coast. Man-
grove swamps are especially extensive in southwest
Florida. The dominant plants in this habitat are red, black,
and white mangroves. Regular immersion of mangrove
swamps by salt water and lack of favored host plants make
this environment relatively unsuitable for grasshoppers.
Mangrove swamp

-.. Coastal Uplands. Along most of Florida's seacoast
can be found dynamic, shifting beach dune areas (top
left). Inland from these are stabilized berms or coastal
strand (bottom left). The more unstable areas are char-
acterized by grasses such as sea oats, beach cordgrass,
sand spur, panic grass, and seashore paspalum, and broa-
dleaf plants such as beach morning glory, railroad vine,
beach sunflower, and sea rocket. Slightly inland, shrubby
plants such as sea grape, cabbage palm, evening prim-
rose, prickly pear, Spanish bayonet, and wax myrtle also
occur. Farther inland, other salt tolerant shrubs dominate,
including saw palmetto, cabbage palm, yaupon, sea grape,
lantana, and woody goldenrod. Plant density increases
from the beach area inland. Grass-dominated areas often
support a wide array, and moderate number, of grass-
hoppers. As is the case with most plant communities, how-
ever, as the density gets high and low-growing plants are
Coastal uplands. Top: beach dune. shaded out, grasshopper abundance decreases.
Bottom: coastal strand.
4.Agricultural or Developed Ecosystems

Crops and Pastures. Crop and pasture habitats con-
sist of a monoculture of introduced plants. However, both
systems often have grass and broadleaf weeds interspersed

...rr also may be a considerable amount
of bare soil present, particularly in
row crops. Crop and pasture envi-
ronments range from temporary to
-\I...-., t.- ..t.-. ,:r.-. long duration. In Florida, it is often
Rit tr .-.. possible to grow two or even three
-- ,-* crops annually on the same plot of
..-'. ground, but perennial crops such
as citrus and pasture may persist


10








relatively unchanged for a decade or more. It is difficult to
generalize about the suitability of crops and pastures for
grasshoppers, but often crops are not particularly good
hosts. Pastures are usually slightly better, sometimes good
ho-,t_. ._lthiou ,h mostly for grass-feeding species. A key
element determining the abun-
dance of grasshoppers in crops,
and to a lesser extent in pastures,
is the abundance of weeds among
the cultivated plants and adjacent
areas. Weedy crops and pastures,
and crops adjacent to abandoned
cropland or weedy fence rows and
irrigation ditches, tend to contain
more grasshoppers.


Urbanized Land. Urbanization, whether due to con-
struction of roads, recreation fields, or homes, has an ef-
fect on grasshoppers not unlike the aforementioned crop
and pasture habitats. Grasshopper species associated with
lawns, recreational fields, and roadsides often are the same
grass-feeders associated with grass pastures. If broadleaf
weeds are allowed to invade the grass habitats, or the
grass remains unmowed all season, then additional spe-
* .--- ......... 1 .... ..... 1 ..... .... J ... 1 -


cies ana nigner numbers o0 grasshoppers develop. Urbanized land

Fallow and Disturbed Land. Crops in Florida often
are subject to soilborne disease and nematode problems.
A common practice to alleviate these problems is to move
the crop to land that has not supported crops for a period
of years. Thus, there often is considerable acreage that
supported crops in previous years but is currently idle.
This is called fallow land. The fallow land may be plowed
periodically to suppress weeds, but often is left unattended
Fallow land for long periods, allowing annual grasses and weeds, and
eventually perennial plants, to grow. A nearly identical
process occurs when land is temporarily disturbed, as when
trees are harvested, new pine plantations are established, or soil is removed for construction.
This invasion of annual plants is the first stage of ecological succession. Such weedy land may
develop moderate to high grasshopper population densities. Certain grasshopper species tend
to exploit disturbed habitats and the weed flora associated with these sites, and many can
disperse into nearby crops and cause injury.

Old Fields. Within a few years of cultivation or distur-
bance, if the land is not again disturbed, the early succes-
sional annual and perennial plants will be invaded by
shrubs and trees. This complex mixture of vegetation,
which can be moderately dense but not excessively tall or
shaded, is called an old field habitat, and is a later stage
of succession. This habitat often supports the most di-
verse assemblage of grasshopper species, and the highest
Old field density of grasshoppers, of any habitat. As the shrubs and
trees mature, however, the habitat becomes less suitable
for grasshoppers.


11


b~cIi p ~L;ar&


II.
0 '








Grasshoppers as Pests

Grasshoppers consume considerable amounts of foliage during their nymphal development,
and also as adults. When they are especially abundant they can damage economically impor-
tant plants. In Florida, Romalea microptera and Schistocerca americana are the most serious
grasshopper pests, occasionally damaging vegetables, citrus, and ornamental plants. Several
other species cause minor damage to forage, field, and ornamental crops. Grasshoppers in
Florida rarely gain the notoriety that they have attained in states west of the Mississippi River,
where the arid climate allows more frequent development of grasshopper plagues. However,
even in Florida, grasshoppers sometimes reach alarmingly high and damaging densities. Grass-
hopper management in Florida depends on both cultural and chemical techniques.
The Origin of Grasshopper Plagues. Abnormally high densities of grasshoppers are
called outbreaks by entomologists, and plagues by the general public. Irrespective of the termi-
nology applied, the phenomenon occurs throughout the world, and its origin is invariably
related to food and weather.
Grasshoppers require warm, sunny conditions for optimal growth and reproduction. Warmth
alone seems to be inadequate. Even during Florida's hot summer weather, grasshopper activity
diminishes during cloudy weather. Thus, drought stimulates grasshopper population increase,
apparently because there is less rainfall and cloudy weather to interfere with grasshopper activ-
ity. A single season of such weather is not adequate to stimulate massive population increase;
rather, 2-3 years of drought usually precede grasshopper outbreaks. Warm winter tempera-
tures also seem to be beneficial, because fewer overwintering nymphs and adults die.
Food is necessary for grasshopper success, and optimal weather alone in the absence of
adequate food supply will prove insufficient for rapid grasshopper population growth. For out-
breaks to occur, both requisites must be satisfied. Thus, some precipitation must be present at
the appropriate time to stimulate plant growth, but an overabundance results in too much
cloud cover. Optimal weather conditions and food supply rarely coincide in Florida, and so
outbreaks are infrequent.
An example of a grasshopper outbreak in central Florida in the early 1990s illustrates the
importance of the interaction of weather and food. Abnormally cold winters killed most of the
citrus grown north of Orlando during the mid to late 1980s. Extensive acreage was abandoned
as citrus growers moved their production farther south. This set the stage for an increase in
food supply, as untended land produced luxurious growth of mixed grasses and weeds. Coin-
cidentally, most of Florida experienced about 5 years of drought. This was a period when even
the Everglades, normally a very wet environment, became very dry. The availability of exten-
sive amounts of low-growing, mixed grass and broadleaf weed herbage in a dry, sunny envi-
ronment stimulated massive grasshopper population increase in what was formerly the north-
ern citrus growing area. Although the weather pattern was widespread in Florida, the grasshop-
per problem was restricted to areas that contained large quantities of the appropriate food.
Grasshopper Management. Once grasshoppers become abundant and damaging there
are few options for suppression other than chemical insecticides. People often ask about the
potential for biological suppression of grasshoppers. Yes, wild birds and domestic fowl, espe-
cially turkeys, readily consume vast quantities of grasshoppers, but this is not an appropriate
solution for most people. There also are grasshopper disease agents under investigation, and
even some that are sold commercially, but so far none has been shown to provide adequate
suppression. So biological control remains a promising area for research, and we continue
to hope for registration of an effective product, but thus far there is nothing practical. For some
people, neem products are attractive. Neem products are botanical derivatives that, when
applied to plants, act as a feeding deterrent, reducing damage. Also, if applied to grasshopper
nymphs, neem can act as a growth regulator, disrupting the normal growth and development,
and sometimes resulting in death or sterilization of grasshoppers. Although neem products are
chemicals, many people take comfort in knowing that they are derived from plants, and there-
fore somewhat "natural." Like many natural controls, effectiveness is not always consistent.
For many people, physical barriers can provide some protection from damage. It is pos-
sible to screen or cover valuable plants with netting, floating row cover, or similar material to
deny grasshoppers access to susceptible plants. This is suitable for small gardens, and is even
applied commercially for ornamental plant production, wherein shade houses are sealed tightly


12








to deny access to grasshoppers. The potential for this approach is limited in scale due to the
cost. For lubber grasshopper, a flightless species, physical barriers in the form of a ditch with
steep sides, or a short metal or plastic wall, can be an effective impediment to grasshopper
dispersal. If such a wall is contemplated, however, consider that grasshoppers can ascend ver-
tical surfaces with amazing agility, so the top of barriers should end in a 45 degree angle,
forcing the insects to fall back.
The best approach to grasshopper management is to strive to avoid problem populations
through cultural manipulation of their habitat (see below). This is not always possible due to
the highly dispersive nature of some species, so chemical insecticides commonly are used.
Cultural Approaches to Grasshopper Management. As discussed elsewhere (see "Grass-
hopper Habitats"), the habitats most favorable for grasshopper population growth and survival
are open, sunny habitats containing mixed, early to mid-successional plants. Land with trees
providing moderate to deep shade rarely produces large numbers of grasshoppers. Also, land
that is kept mowed mechanically or by livestock grazing tends not to produce grasshoppers
unless grass pasture is damaged by overgrazing and broadleaf weeds invade.
Crops planted near habitats containing dense, mixed, early and mid-successional plants
may experience invasion by grasshoppers. This has been particularly evident in north and
central Florida with respect to slash pine plantations. Young pine trees, once planted, are largely
ignored until they are partly mature and the stand requires thinning. In the early years following
pine seedling establishment, mixed grasses, broadleaf weeds and small shrubs flourish, but
they usually are ignored because the fast-growing pines eventually outgrow the weeds. This
results in excellent habitat for grasshoppers, and such fields may provide inoculum of damag-
ing grasshoppers for adjacent crops (as the pine stand matures, of course, it shades out under-
growth and is poor habitat for grasshoppers). If crops are planted near young pine plantations,
it is important to recognize this potential source of grasshoppers. If grasshoppers attain high
densities and appear to be threatening it may be desirable to mow or plow between the pines,
depriving grasshoppers of habitat and disrupting their biology. Alternatively, insecticide can be
applied to the pine plantation, or perhaps only the border of the plantation, thereby establish-
ing an insect-free buffer between the source of grasshoppers and the susceptible crops.
There is one important exception to the pattern described above, and this involves the east-
ern lubber grasshopper, Romalea microptera. This unusual, flightless grasshopper is one of the
more common pests in Florida, and is found damaging vegetable gardens, ornamental plantings,
and citrus groves in a variety of habitats. However, despite its widespread occurrence in the late
nymphal and adult stages, it seems to emanate annually from low, moist, dense habitat, includ-
ing areas that include considerable tree overstory.
Insecticides for Suppression of Grasshoppers. Chemical insecticides can be applied
in liquid form, by application directly to the grasshoppers or to the plants they will walk or feed
upon. Insecticides can also be applied to bran flakes, and distributed as a bait. Both ap-
proaches, but particularly the latter, are difficult to use in Florida due to dense vegetation. If
insecticides are to be used, it is advisable to apply the chemicals when the grasshoppers are
young. Small insects are much easier to kill than large, and grasshoppers are notoriously diffi-
cult to kill under any conditions. Also, because the grasshoppers usually develop in surround-
ing vegetation it is usually best to take the "battle" there, and apply insecticides to the young
grasshoppers before they disperse into crops and cause damage.

What is a Species?

Often it is difficult to decide whether populations differing slightly from one another should be
regarded as different species, or simply as varieties or subspecies. This is especially true with
populations that are geographically isolated.
Most biologists define species as groups of actually or potentially interbreeding populations
that are reproductively isolated from other groups. Thus, if populations of grasshopper X. a in
southeast Florida breed successfully with populations in southwest Florida and central Florida,
we consider them to be the same species. If species X. a from central Florida does not success-
fully breed with grasshoppers from north Florida in the regions where both occur we consider
the northern populations to be a separate species, perhaps designated as X. b. But what do we
make of grasshoppers that occur only in the western panhandle area of Florida if they do not


13








breed successfully with our northern X. b grasshoppers? Are they another species, perhaps X.
c, or could they be geographically separate populations of our southern and central Florida
species, X. a? Because the geographically separate populations do not have the opportunity to
interbreed we cannot easily test the definition of a species.
Florida has many grasshoppers with strong powers of flight, and broad dietary habits, allow-
ing them to move freely across the landscape. When such grasshoppers segregate into separate
populations, and attain the different appearances or behaviors that normally accompany re-
productive segregation, we have no difficulty designating them as separate species. However,
Florida also has many short-winged, flightless grasshoppers that dwell on isolated sand ridges.
During ancient times when the sea level was higher, these ridges were islands, and even now
are "biological islands," with unique flora. Thus, there have been, and remain, isolated
populations of grasshoppers incapable of reproduction because the populations of one "is-
land" do not come into contact with the population of other "islands." But are they reproduc-
tively isolated? Have they diverged sufficiently to be considered true species?
Often it is difficult to know with certainty whether different populations constitute different
species. However, if they differ greatly in appearance or behavior, especially if the differences
are associated with reproductive structures or mating behavior, we tend to consider them sepa-
rate species. There is some disagreement among scientists, of course, over whether certain
populations are sufficiently different to be considered separate species. In this manual we have
taken a conservative approach, consolidating some very similar populations that others have
considered to be separate species into a smaller number of species.
Why is it sometimes difficult to determine if populations represent different species? As
previously mentioned, speciation is based on behavior, physiology, and genetics, as well as
appearance, or morphology. Only morphology is relatively easy to assess and to portray to
others. Therefore, most taxonomists depend on morphological characters to distinguish among
species. Unfortunately, there can be considerable variation in morphology within even a small
geographic area, and immense variation over the entire range of an insect. Many scientists
have described grasshoppers as new species only to discover later that the new "species" was
only a morphological variant of another species. Grasshoppers exhibit considerable variation
in color and wing length, accounting for many of the erroneous species descriptions. Often the
sexual organs are used to distinguish among species, because these characters relate directly to
reproductive compatibility and population genetics. However, even here it is sometimes diffi-
cult to know how much difference in genitalia constitutes enough to cause physical incompat-
ibility and result in genetic isolation.
Exact determination of species numbers is probably a fruitless enterprise, as speciation is a
dynamic phenomenon, with new species slowly evolving in some areas, and extinction prob-
ably occurring in others. Particularly in the case of Florida, where land conversion and natural
habitat destruction are frequent, extinction is a real possibility for some species of grasshop-
pers. Perhaps the best example of this is Melanoplus puer and its closely related species.
Melanoplus puer has several races or subspecies that differ only slightly, but most are separated
geographically and seem to be in the process of evolving into separate species. Some of M.
puer's close relatives are only marginally different from it, and likely evolved in relatively recent
times. Also, such species as Melanoplus adelogyrus, M. apalachicolae, M. gurneyi, M. indicifer,
M. pygmaeus and M. withlacoocheensis apparently occur in small areas. Melanoplus gurneyi
occurs in a fairly small area in the western Panhandle area of Florida, and M. indicifer in an
even smaller area near Jupiter on the east coast of Florida. If extensive development occurs in
these areas the probability of such species surviving is remote.

Collecting and Preserving Grasshoppers

Why Collect Grasshoppers? Grasshoppers are among the best insects to collect. You do not
have to travel far or to exotic habitats to collect some, and often they are numerous. They
commonly are large, at least by insect standards, which makes them relatively easy to handle
and identify. Identification ranges from quite simple to requiring close, detailed examination, so
there are various levels of challenge. They also vary in difficulty of collection; some species are
easy to obtain whereas others require considerable searching or travel to a specific location in
the state. Grasshoppers are inherently interesting, and often strikingly beautiful if you take the


14








time to look closely. Few people have seen the myriad of hues on the hind wings of bandwinged
grasshoppers. Fewer yet have examined the inside of the hind legs of these species for the
striking array of colors, including bands of yellow, orange, red, blue, and black. Finally, there is
considerable physical and intellectual challenge in netting these cunning species. The grass-
hoppers that respond to your net by flying 100 meters away, or 10 meters up into a tree, or to
rest on emergent vegetation in a pond frequented by alligators, will quickly earn your respect!
Collection. Grasshoppers are easily collected and preserved. An insect net is usually re-
quired for collection, especially for the bandwinged and Schistocerca species. Other than a net,
no special equipment is required. Because immature stages are frequently collected, have a
cage or other container available to rear the nymphs to the adult stage.
It is easy to find habitats suitable for grasshopper collecting. In fact, this is one of the advan-
tages of collecting grasshoppers; nearly all habitat types support interesting and unique spe-
cies. It is possible to stop along the side of any road in Florida that is bounded by grass, weeds,
and low-growing or open vegetation, and find large numbers of grasshoppers. Collecting can
be done throughout the year, but the best period to collect is April to November. Most landown-
ers are extremely cooperative and freely allow insect collecting, but if the landowner can be
found it is best to inquire before collecting. National and state parks usually prohibit removal of
anything from the property, so inquire in advance and request a permit if you want to collect in
such habitats.
Preservation. Grasshoppers normally are preserved by killing, pinning, and drying. Grass-
hoppers can be killed by freezing or with chemicals. The easiest and safest technique is to place
insects into a freezer for several hours. They can also be killed by exposing them to a small
amount of toxic fumigant such as ethyl acetate. Toxicants are usually used in conjunction with
a specially prepared killing jar. The killing jar has a layer of plaster of paris poured in the bottom
of the jar. Once ethyl acetate is poured onto dried plaster of paris, the chemical is absorbed by
the plaster, and the jar will produce toxic fumes for several days.
Usually it is not desirable to kill nymphs because they lack the characters needed for identi-
fication. Also, due to their soft body they do not preserve well in a dry state. They are best
placed in alcohol to prevent excessive distortion.

















Pinned grasshoppers showing proper placement of pin.


To mount adult grasshoppers on a pin, insert a pin into the dorsal surface, with the point
protruding from the ventral surface. The preferred location for pinning is usually the posterior
area of the prothorax, and to the right of the midline. The grasshopper is pushed up on the pin
so that not only the end, but a small amount of the shaft is protruding. This gives ample room
to pick up the dead grasshopper without touching the insect's body. Below the grasshopper
body, collection data are provided via a label. This is accomplished by writing or printing data
on stiff paper, and cutting the label to a small rectangle. A pinning block often is used to align
the insect body and labels) to standard heights. Data that should be included on the label
include the date of collection, place of collection, and collector's name. Ecological data such as


15








habitat or host plant may also be included. Pins vary in size and quality. It is highly desirable to
use rustproof insect pins. Insect pins are longer and sharper than standard pins, allowing at-
tachment of labels and easy mounting. Insect pins and all other collection and preservation
equipment are available from biological supply houses.
To fully appreciate the beauty of the bandwinged species, and to assist in identification,
spread at least one forewing and hind wing. The usual procedure is to spread the left forewing
perpendicular to the grasshopper body. Similarly, the leading edge of the hind wing is spread
perpendicular; this results in full extension of the remainder of the hind wing. Species other
than bandwinged grasshoppers are rarely spread, though if it is done the spread wing may aid
identification.
To properly spread the grasshopper's wings, some support is needed to keep the wings
elevated and flat. A spreading board is usually used to provide wing support. A spreading
board consisting of Styrofoam or another suitable pin-
ning surface should have a strip of similar material glued
on part of the board, so that one surface is higher than
the other. Thus, the lower pinning board is used to sup-
port the grasshopper body on its pin, and the elevated
portion is used to support the wing. Strips of paper and
pins are used to hold the wing in place. Whether or not
the grasshopper's wings are spread, grasshoppers must
be dried to aid preservation. Drying can be accom-
plished by placing the pinned insect, often with its wings
spread, in an oven at low temperature until the subject
is dry and stiff. Once dried, the wings, antennae, and
legs cannot be moved without breaking, so it is impor-
tant to get the body parts aligned before drying.
The color of grasshoppers tends to fade as the insect Grasshopper with wing spread on
dies. This is difficult to prevent. Much of the discolora- spreading board.
tion is due to the accumulation of body oils at the sur-
face of the body. The oil can be extracted, preventing some of the color change. To extract oils,
place the dried insect on its pin in a bath of acetone. Usually a few hours is adequate; pro-
longed extraction causes the insect body to bleach to a light color.
If you are going to make an insect collection you need suitable storage. Storage requires
nothing more than a tight box with pinning material in the bottom. However, it is imperative
that the box be tight, or carpet beetles and cockroaches will gain access and devour the pinned
insects. To help prevent damage to specimens, you can place moth balls or moth crystals in the
box with the specimens. This will kill any insects that gain access, particularly ants, cockroaches,
and book lice.


16








U uick Guide to Common Florida Grasshoppers

This guide is designed to assist in the identification of common grasshoppers in Florida. The
guide will allow you to quickly eliminate most species from consideration, allowing you to
focus on the most probable identifications. It does not contain most of the uncommon short-
winged Melanoplus species, but all other species are represented. The Melanoplus species are
best identified by examination of terminal abdominal structures of males; diagrams of these are
provided in the species descriptions. To obtain accurate identifications, the guide should be
used in conjunction with the descriptions, diagrams, and photographs. This guide will be less
reliable in nearby states where other species occur that are not found in Florida.


WINGS LACKING, or apparently no wings

Size small (12-22 mm in length), color gold or brown
Gymnoscirtetes morse, G. pusillus
Size medium (15-33 mm), color green
Aptenopedes apterae, A. sphenarioides


WING LENGTH SHORT; wings distinct but less than, or equal to,
length of pronotum

Body form exceptionally long and narrow
Achurum carinatum
Body with a bold white stripe dorsally on prothorax and abdomen
Hesperotettix osceola, Eritettix obscurus
Body color uniformly bright green with, at most, a weak red stripe dorsally on prothorax
Hesperotettixfloridensis
Body color iridescent yellowish, gold, or brown
Eotettix species
Body color indistinct brownish, reddish, or grayish, and with black stripe on side of
pronotum
Male with distinct conical structure palliumm) pointing upward near tip of abdomen
Melanoplus rotundipennis, M. withlacoocheensis
Male without distinct conical structure
Several short-winged Melanoplus species, usually uncommon


WING LENGTH INTERMEDIATE; wings appreciably longer than
prothorax but not attaining tip of abdomen

Size small (16-28 mm), color usually grass-green
Dorsal stripe absent from pronotum
Dichromorpha elegans, D. viridis
Dorsal stripe present on pronotum
Hesperotettix viridis
Size medium (22-40 mm), color usually olive-green or brownish
Melanoplus querneus
Size large (43-70 mm), forewing color some combination of black, yellow, and reddish
Romalea microptera


17








WING LENGTH LONG; wings nearly attaining tip of abdomen or
extending beyond tip

Hind wings distinctly pigmented, usually brightly colored with transverse black band
Hind wing orangish or pinkish
Transverse black band wide, about 1/3 the width of the wing, and crossing near the
center of the wing
Psidinia fenestralis, Spharagemon marmorata
Transverse black band not wide, about 1/4 the width of the wing or less, and not
located centrally
Hippiscus ocelote, Pardalophora phoenicoptera
Hind wing yellow
Hind wing lemon yellow basally, wing tip usually cloudy
Arphia species, Spharagemon marmorata
Hind wing pale yellow basally, wing tip usually transparent
Hippiscus ocelote, Spharagemon bolli, S. crepitans, S. cristatum, Trimerotropis
maritima
Hind wing black, with margin yellowish
Dissosteira carolina
Hind wing largely transparent, with diffuse blackish area centrally
Chortophaga australior
Hind wings not distinctly pigmented, usually transparent except for wing veins
Face strongly slanted; spine present or absent between front legs
Tips of forewings sharply pointed; spine present between front legs
Leptysma marginicollis, Stenacris vitreipennis
Tips of forewings flattened, but forming sharp angle; spine absent between front legs
Metaleptea brevicornis
Tips of forewings rounded; spine absent between front legs
Antennae markedly flattened and sword-shaped
Mermiria species
Antennae not markedly flattened and sword-shaped
Lateral edge of dorsal surface of pronotum well marked with white lines
Orphulella pelidna, Syrbula admirabilis
Lateral edge of dorsal surface of pronotum not marked with white line
Amblytropidia mysteca, Dichromorpha elegans, D. viridis
Face not strongly slanted; spine present between front legs
Cerci of males broad, flat, with tip wider than base
Melanoplus keeleri, M. punctulatus, M. symmetricus
Cerci of males with tip width narrower than base width
Cerci spoon-shaped at tip
Paroxya species, Melanoplus impudicus
Cerci with blunt or rounded tip, but not spoon-shaped
Hesperotettix viridis, Melanoplus propinquus, M. sanguinipes
Cerci of males with tip width about same as base width
Cerci spoon-shaped at tip
Paroxya species, Melanoplus bispinosus
Cerci about equal in width throughout and flattened at tip
Schistocerca species


18


















Ventral view of grasshopper
showing spine between
base of front legs



^^^l


Examples of grasshoppers
with face not strongly slanted


Examples of grasshoppers
with a strongly slanted face









Examples of threadlike antenna (left)
and sword-shaped antenna (right)


19








synopsis of Florida Grasshopper Species


Stridulating Slantfaced Grasshoppers
Subfamily Gomphocerinae
Grasshoppers in this subfamily tend to have slender bodies and long, slender legs. Their heads
are elongate and often :. ? ..;. 1 : .: .i having al.1 .I' slanted face. They ..:.: .: lack a
ventral spine between the front legs (the prosternal spine), as is found in the lubber grasshop-
pers (subfamily Romaleinae) and the spurthroated grasshoppers ( ..1.".. Cyrta-
SGomphocerine grasshoppers tend to be green or brown; sometimes distinctly
brown or green forms occur within the same species. The hind wings are not colorful.
Gomphocerines often have ..- .'i short wings, rendering them incapable of sustained
ii : '... i. disturbed these grasshoppers leap and use their wings, but their wings often do
little more than increase the distance jumped. They do not make sounds during ".. 1., called
S.. : as occurs in the bandwinged : :1 C. : i:-.. This does not
mean that these grasshoppers are silent, because they can make noise by rubbing the inner
surface of the hind femur on the edges of the forewing. They create this sound, called stridula-
tion, while resting, not while : ... Because the males of this .r ....:! .. :: have a row of
stridulatory pegs on the inner surface of the hind femora, they are also known as- .
grasshoppers.
The habitat of gomphocerines tends to be tall grasses in open fields. The form and color of
...- .. species allows them to blend in with stems and blades of grass, making them difficult to
detect until : move. Most :i- 1. feed :- i .:::. -.: :: on grasses.
There are 10 species in 7 genera of Gomphocerinae in Florida:

Achurum
A. carinatum (F. Walker)

Amblytropidia
A. mysteca (Saussure)

Dichromorpha
D. elegans (Morse)
D. viridis (Scudder)

Eritettix
E. obscurus (Scudder)

Mermiria
M. bivittata (Serville)
M. intertexta Scudder
M. picta (F. Walker)

Orphulella
0. pelidna (Burmeister)

Syrbula
S. admirabilis (Uhler)


20








Achurum carinatum (F. Walker)
Longheaded toothpick grasshopper

Identification. The common name of this slender grass-
hopper accurately describes its general body form. It is pale
brown or grayish brown, often with the forewings and legs
partly green. Thus, it easily blends in with grasses and pine
needles, and is difficult to detect. The forewings of this flight-
less species are small, averaging about the length of the head
in north Florida and shorter than the head in south Florida.
The face is extremely slanted, the antennae large and sword-
shaped. Some individuals bear numerous black dots. The
length of males is 24-36 mm; females are 33-40 mm.
Similar Species. The short wings and absence of a spine
between the front legs serve to differentiate longheaded tooth-
pick grasshopper from the similar cyrtacanthacridine species,
Leptysma marginicolis and Stenacris vitreipennis.
Distribution and Ecology. Longheaded slender tooth-
Longheaded toothpick grass- pick grasshopper is found throughout Florida, and the south-
hopper (male) eastern states from South Carolina to Mississippi. It can be
found throughout the year, with nymphs overwintering in north
Florida and adults farther south. It is commonly found in grass of open woodlands such as high
pine and pine flatwoods, and areas with tall grasses such as old fields and pond margins.


Amblytropidia mysteca
(Saussure)
Brown winter grasshopper

Identification. This yellowish brown
to brownish black grasshopper is robust
in form. Although the face is strongly
slanted, the top of the head is broadly
rounded. The antennae are relatively
short. The top of the head, thorax, and
sometimes a portion of the forewings are Brown winter grasshopper (male)
yellowish brown or gold. The junction
of the dorsal and lateral surfaces often is
marked by a narrow but distinct line. The forewings are darker brown or blackish distally. The
hind femora are light brown or gold, sometimes with a longitudinal black line. The hind tibiae
are light brown basally and brownish black distally. The length of this insect is 19-24 mm in
males and 24-30 mm in females.
Distribution and Ecology. Brown winter grasshopper is known from throughout Florida,
and is found widely is the southern United States from North Carolina to Arizona. It can be
found in Florida during the winter in both nymphal and adult stages, but also is collected
through most of the summer. It occurs amongst short and moderately high grasses, usually in
open woodlands. When disturbed A. mysteca flies short distances, dives into vegetation, and
burrows out of sight among the foliage and debris. This constitutes an unusual and easily
recognizable behavior that aids in field identification.


21








Dichromorpha elegans
(Morse)
Elegant grasshopper

Identification. This grass-green or
brownish green grasshopper is attractive,
but hardly warrants its common name;
There are many other more elegant spe-
cies. It has a slanted face, but broadly
rounded, slightly enlarged head. It usu-
Elegant grasshopper (female) ally is marked by a narrow black line ex-
tending from behind the eye, across the
prothorax, and onto the forewings. The forewings are variable in length, ranging from about
one half the length of the abdomen to the tip of the abdomen. The males are much smaller and
more slender than the females. The hind tibiae are brownish. The length of this grasshopper is
17-21 mm in males and 19-28 mm in females.
Similar Species. This species is easily confused with Dichromorpha viridis. Close exami-
nation of the dorsal surface of the pronotum will differentiate the two species. Dichromorpha
elegans has a single, narrow, line-like transverse crevice (sulcus) that bisects the median and
lateral pronotal ridges. Dichromorpha viridis has, in addition, another crevice that bisects the
lateral pronotal ridges but not the middle ridge. Dichromorpha elegans also has a larger head
than D. viridis.
Distribution and Ecology. Elegant grasshopper is found throughout Florida in grassy,
moist areas such as freshwater swamps and salt marshes. It does not inhabit the dryer areas
frequented by D. viridis. It also occurs elsewhere in the eastern and southern United States
along both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Dichromorpha viridis
(Scudder)
Shortwinged green grasshopper
















Florida. The dorsal and lateral surfaces of male grasshoppers sometimes are contrasting colors.
The common forms are a green dorsal surface and pale or dark brown lateral surfaces, or light
brown dorsal surface and dark brown lateral surfaces. Females are uniformly colored, but may
be either green or brown. The forewings of this species are, as the common name suggests,
usually short, but occasional long-winged individuals occur. In males, the forewings often are
about three fourths the length of the abdomen, whereas in females the forewings often extend
just half the length of the abdomen. The males measure 14-17 mm in length, the females 23-
27 mm.
Similar Species. This species is very similar in form to Dichromorpha elegans. As previ-
ously noted, D. viridis can be distinguished by the presence of two crevices or cuts in the lateral
pronotal ridges. Also, D. elegans has a larger head than D. viridis, but of course this character


22








is useful only if individuals of both species are avail-
able to compare.
Distribution and Ecology. This is a common
species in grassy areas, including edges of ponds and
woods, low areas of pastures, and along roadsides. It
also feeds readily in improved pastures and on lawn
grasses, which accounts for its wide distribution and
abundance. In many grassy habitats it is the most abun-
dant grasshopper. Shortwinged green grasshopper can
be found throughout the year in Florida, although it is
Dichromorpha Dichromorpha infrequent in north Florida during the winter. Males
Dichromorpha Dichromorpha
iridis eegans are reported to stridulate.
viridis elegans

Eritettix obscurus
(Scudder)
Obscure slantfaced grasshopper

Identification. This small brownish,
flightless grasshopper is usually distin-
guishable by the broad whitish or yel-
lowish stripe that extends from the top
of the head to the tip of the abdomen.
Unfortunately, this character is some-
Obscure slantfaced grasshopper (female) times absent, making recognition more
difficult. The forewings are always short-
ened, covering about one-half to three-fourths the length of the abdomen. The antennae are
slightly flattened and sword-shaped. The face is markedly slanted. The dorsal surface of the
pronotum bears a small ridge along each side, and the ridges are constricted near the middle of
the pronotum. These lateral ridges may be black or white. Males measure 13-15 mm in length,
females 21-24 mm.
Distribution and Ecology. Obscure slantface grasshopper occurs only in Florida, and
widely in the peninsular region from Live Oak to Miami. Its preferred habitat is scrub oak forest,
where it occurs amongst wiregrass and low-growing oak. Obscure slantface grasshopper is not
uncommon in such habitat, but never is abundant.


Mermiria bivittata (Serville)
Twostriped mermiria grasshopper

Identification. This narrow-bodied
species is quite large. Though variable
in color, it is marked with a dark stripe
originating behind the eye and running
across the pronotum. The stripe extends
weakly onto the forewings, where a nar-
row white streak also may be found ba-
sally. Generally the body is brownish or
Twostriped mermeria grasshopper (female)
greenish dorsally and yellow ventrally.
The face is strongly slanted. The antennae are sword-shaped. The hind tibiae are reddish.
Body length is 28-38 mm in males and 39-56 mm in females.
Similar Species. Twostriped mermiria grasshopper is separated from Mermiria intertexta
by the lack of a median dark stripe along the dorsal portion of the body; this stripe is apparent
in M. intertexta. Twostriped mermiria grasshopper is distinguished from Mermiria picta by the
absence of distinct lateral ridges on the dorsal surface of the pronotum; the lateral ridges are
evident in M. picta.


23








Distribution and Ecology. Twostriped grasshopper is reported from nearly everywhere in
the United States except the northwestern and northeastern states. It also is known from south-
ern Canada and northern Mexico. It is most common in the Great Plains region, however. In
Florida it is known from the northernmost counties, but is not generally common. Twostriped
mermiria grasshopper inhabits areas of tall grass, including coastal salt marsh habitats. It feeds
exclusively on grasses.

Mermiria intertexta
Scudder
Eastern mermiria grasshopper

Identification. This species is long
and narrow in general appearance, and
fairly large in size. The face is strongly
slanted, and the antennae sword-shaped.
The general color is yellowish or green-
ish, but a reddish or dark brown stripe
often is present dorsally, especially in Eastern mermiria grasshopper (female)
males, from the tip of the head to the
posterior margin of the pronotum. An-
other distinct dark brown or black stripe
extends from the posterior margin of the
eye onto the base of the front wings, and
merges into the brown forewings. The
stripe in the basal region of the forew-
ings contains a narrow white streak. The
long, thin hind tibiae are reddish. The Mermiria picta Mermiria intertexta
males measure 32-38 mm in length, the and bivittata
females 33-58 mm.
Similar Species. The narrow white streak found at the base of the forewing is a character
that is lacking from the similar Mermiria picta. Also serving to distinguish M. intertexta from M.
picta, but much more difficult to see, is the absence of distinct lateral ridges on the dorsal
surface of the pronotum; these lateral ridges are present in M. picta.The dorsal medial stripe on
the head and thorax of M. intertexta is absent from M. bivittata.
Distribution and Ecology. Eastern mermiria grasshopper inhabits the coastal region of
the eastern United States from New Jersey to Florida. In Florida, it occurs throughout the state,
usually in tall grasses and in wet habitats. Despite its ability to blend in well with its grassy
environment, M. intertexta flies freely when disturbed. It is not a strong flier.

Mermiria picta (F. Walker)
Lively mermiria grasshopper

Identification. This large, thin spe-
cies greatly resembles Mermiria inter-
texta, long and narrow in general appear-
ance, and greenish or brownish in gen-
eral color. The face is strongly slanted,
and the antennae sword-shaped. A red-
dish or dark brown stripe often is present
Lively mermiria grasshopper (male) dorsally, especially in males, from the tip
of the head to the posterior margin of
the pronotum. Another distinct dark
brown or black stripe extends from the posterior margin of the eye onto the base of the front
wings, and merges into the brown forewings. The antennae of lively mermiria grasshopper are
sword-shaped. The hind tibiae are reddish. The males measure 28-41 mm in length, the fe-
males 41-57 mm.


24








Similar Species. This species does not have a narrow white streak at the base of the
forewing, a character that is found in the similar Mermiria intertexta, and usually in M. bivittata.
Serving to distinguish M. picta from both M. intertexta and M. bivittata, but much more difficult
to see, is the presence of distinct lateral ridges on the dorsal surface of the pronotum in M.
picta. Also, the dorsal stripe found on the head and thorax of lively mermiria is normally absent
from M. bivittata.
Distribution and Ecology. Lively mermiria grasshopper is found throughout the eastern
United States north to Virginia and South Dakota, and west to Arizona. It also is known from
Mexico. In Florida it occurs widely in habitats containing tall grasses, including wooded envi-
ronments. It tends to inhabit drier areas than M. intertexta, and is less frequently encountered.

Orphulella pelidna
(Burmeister)
Spottedwinged grasshopper










Identification. This _ler.de. _ip,cl
is vari.hble ._idJ II' tI Ct ii pp__'_"
Under m,_t ,prdmitionr. _ptted.. inged
grass-.,_-pperi i br ..I I r .~ir- cd h1.e'.
both black and white accents. Large
black triangular marks are found dorsally along the posterior margin of the pronotum. The
lateral ridges on the dorsal surface of the pronotum are markedly compressed near the mid-
point of the pronotum. A series of small, dark, rectangular spots is present along the center of
the forewings, and is the basis for the common name of this species, but numerous speckles are
also generally present. A broad dark stripe usually extends from the back of the eye to the base
of the forewing. In some coastal locations larger forms appear. They may be completely green,
or bear only some of the aforementioned stripes and marks. On dark soils or in burned forests,
blackish forms may occur. Also, although the forewings normally extend well beyond the tip of
the abdomen, individuals with shorter wings are sometimes observed. The hind tibiae are
usually brown, but sometimes bluish. The antennal segments are not markedly flattened, ap-
pearing threadlike. The males measure 18-25 mm in length, the females 18-28 mm.
Similar Species. Although this species superficially resembles Syrbula admirabilis, it usu-
ally can be separated easily based on its overall smaller size. The strongly compressed lateral
ridges also are diagnostic, although in S. admirabilis they are slightly compressed. Also, the
forewings are usually spotted and speckled, characteristics usually absent from S. admirabilis.
Distribution and Ecology. This is the most widespread grasshopper in Florida. It is found
in all habitats except those that are very shaded. Despite its adaptable nature, it rarely is numer-
ous in any habitat, or at any location. When disturbed it flies swiftly, but fairly short distances,
before diving to the soil or vegetation and seeking shelter. Upon landing it often runs a short
distance to hide. In addition to being found throughout Florida, 0. pelidna occurs throughout
the United States, and even into southern Canada and northern Mexico.

Syrbula admirabilis (Uhler)
Handsome grasshopper

Identification. This slender species deserves its common name; it is a strikingly attractive
insect. The face is quite slanted, the hind legs especially long and slender. The antennae,
though generally threadlike, in males are slightly expanded at the tip. The hind tibiae are


25




















tilt. .,&
-Al-.. *t& ,,~ih* R.~Ii ~


,h ite _ih e The pltei._l id e_ .mll

4tIli'cted hli ,htl. I--ie. r the miciddle -I the
p'ionotum. A doi ral broad bi ., n stiipe
usually extends from the front of the head
to the posterior margin of the pronotum. The general body color ranges from mostly brown to
mostly green, but some individuals tend toward blackish, especially males. The most distinctive
feature is the pattern on the forewings. The leading edge of the forewing (ventral surface when
wings are closed) is green or grayish, whereas the trailing edge is brown to black. These con-
trasting colors meet in a wavy, or crenulate, pattern that immediately distinguishes most indi-
viduals. Some males, however, have the forewings almost entirely dark. The sexes differ mark-
edly in size. Males measure about 22-28 mm in length, females 35-42 mm.
Similar Species. Although usually distinct, this species sometimes resembles Orphulella
pelidna. Usually it can be separated easily by its overall larger size. The lateral ridges on the
dorsal surface of the pronotum are compressed near the midpoint, but not as markedly as in O.
pelidna. Also, the forewings are not spotted and speckled.
Distribution and Ecology. Handsome grasshopper is found throughout the state, although
it appears more common in northern regions. It also is found widely in the United States west
to the Rocky Mountains and south into Mexico. This species is commonly associated with dry
grasses of short to moderate height. The males fly readily when disturbed, the females fly
awkwardly and often escape by leaping. Both sexes stridulate.


26








Silent Slantfaced Grasshoppers


Subfamily Acridinae

This is a very small subfamily in North America, with only one species known from the United
States. However, several genera and numerous species occur in South America. Acridinae is
very similar in appearance to the stridulating slantfaced grasshoppers (subfamily
Gomphocerinae), but as the common name suggests, members of this subfamily lack stridula-
tory pegs on the hind femora of males and thus do not produce sound.
Grasshoppers in this subfamily have a slanted face, as is found in Gomphocerinae, and
flattened, sword-shaped antennae, which also are present among some gomphocerines and
spurthroated grasshoppers (subfamily Cyrtacanthacridinae). Acridines lack a spine between
the front legs (the prosternal spine), as is found in the lubber grasshoppers (subfamily Romaleinae)
and spurthroated grasshoppers. Also, the hind wings are colorless or nearly colorless, lacking
the dark band found in the bandwinged grasshoppers.
Only one species occurs in Florida:

Metaleptea
M. brevicornis (Johannson)

Metaleptea brevicornis
(Johannson)
Clippedwing grasshopper







Clippedwing grasshopper
(Above: male. Right: female.)

Identification. This slantfaced spe-
cies is distinguished by the angled tip of
the forewings, a distinct contrast from the
rounded or pointed wing tips found on
nearly all other long-winged Florida spe-
cies. The hind wings are not pigmented. Males of the species usually are green dorsally and
brown laterally. Females are more variable, often colored mostly brown or green, but some-
times light brown dorsally and green laterally. The antennae are markedly sword-shaped. The
hind tibiae are brownish. Males measure 25-38 mm in length, females 36-53 mm.
Similar Species. This species is not readily confused with others. The bandwinged grass-
hopper Dissosteira carolina has wing tips that are similarly angled, but is not a slantfaced spe-
cies, and bears black hind wings.
Distribution and Ecology. Clippedwing grasshopper has been collected throughout Florida,
but though widespread, nowhere is it abundant. This species also occurs throughout eastern
North America west to the Mississippi River, and in the South its distribution extends west into
Texas. Its range includes most of Central and South America. The preferred habitat of clippedwing
grasshopper is tall grasses along ponds and marshes. It also sometimes occurs in salt marshes.
This species is a strong flier, and unlike most grasshoppers, sometimes is attracted to lights.


27








Bandwinged Grasshoppers
Subfamily Oedipodinae

The bandwinged grasshoppers are usually heavy bodied and bear enlarged hind legs. The
head of these grasshoppers often appears enlarged and .. .... i rounded. The orientation of
the face is .. .!.' vertical, in distinct contrast to species in the 1. '. : Gomphocerinae, the
S. ...: .: ... 1 : ... : ....: lack the spine between the front legs (the
prosternal spine) that is found in the lubber grasshoppers (subfamily Romaleinae) and
spurthroated grasshoppers (subfamily C, ... ....,: The bandwinged grasshoppers
tend to be ... or brown, and often are mottled with darker spots. The pronotum often bears
S wrinkles, or -.: tubercles, .i -... : a .. ....
The bandwinged grasshoppers : : -., bear bright colors, but this may not be obvious. The
hind wings are often ii.. orange, or reddish'. .1 with a broad black band crossing near
the center of the wing. The colorful hind wings are hidden by the front wings (tegmina) except
when in . ': .. the inner face of the hind femora is often :: orange, red, or blue.
Again, this is not : apparent, and these species often blend. :... with soil.
Males, and sometimes females, produce sound in i i: :! .. .. The snapping, crack-
or buzzing sound is made by rubbing the under surface of the forewings.....-... ": veins
of the hind '.. They do not always i in -, '- as sound: : .... is related to the
mate selection process. Also, these grasshoppers .. ::.:. : sound while at rest (stridu-
lation) by rubbing the hind femora against the forewings, but the femora lack the stridulatory
pegs found in the stridulatory slantfaced grasshoppers .. .... :! Gomphocerinae).
The *''i 1* grasshoppers ....... are associated with open, ......areas, : -...... .
areas with bare soil. Thin, overgrazed pastures or barren areas within pastures are the preferred
habitat. They feed ... .. .i on grasses. I disturbed these grasshoppers :i readily, but
alight on soil rather than on plants. Their general color often varies !. '. depending on the
color of the substrate in1 -:."* environment. Thus, T can be very :. : detect when T
sit motionless on soil.
There are 13 species in Florida, found in 8 genera:

Arphia
A. granulata (Saussure)
A. sulphurea (Fabricius)
A. xanthoptera (Burmeister)

Chortophaga
C. australior (Rehn and Hebard)

Dissosteira
D. carolina (Linnaeus)

Hippiscus
H. ocelote (Saussure)

Pardalophora
P. phoenicoptera (Burmeister)

Psinidia
P. fenestralis (Serville)

Spharagemon
S. bolli Scudder
S. crepitans (Saussure)
S. cristatum (Scudder)
S. marmorata (Scudder)

Trimerotropis
T. maritima (Harris)


28








Arphia granulata (Saussure)
Southern yellowwinged
grasshopper







Southern yellowwinged grasshopper (male)

Identification. This is the common Arphia spe-
cies in Florida. It is light to dark brown, often bear-
ing small dark or black speckles on the forewings
and elsewhere. The forewings usually bear a nar-
row, pale yellow hind margin on the forewings that
forms a dorsal yellow band when the wings are held at rest. In the field, the most distinctive
feature of this grasshopper's appearance is the bright yellow hind wings. The hind wings also
are marked with a curved black band. The hind tibiae are yellowish basally, with a black band
separating the basal third of the tibia from the second third. The distal two-thirds of the hind
tibiae are mostly pale or yellowish, but often contain some additional dark coloration. This
portion of the tibiae is not usually mostly or entirely black, however. The dorsal median ridge
on the pronotum is slightly, but distinctly, elevated. The length of males is 27-33 mm, whereas
females measure about 30-35 mm.
Distribution and Ecology. Arphia granulata can be observed throughout most of the year
in north Florida, and both adults and nymphs have been collected during the winter in South
Florida. Presence of the adults is readily apparent because they make short, noisy flights in
which they produce a crackling sound crepitationn) and flash their brightly colored wings. This
grasshopper is found throughout Florida, and the southeastern states from Mississippi to North
Carolina. It inhabits brushy fields, open woods, roadsides and, to a lesser degree, grasslands.

Arphia sulphurea (Fabricius)
Sulfurwinged grasshopper

Identification. This species greatly resembles Arphia granulata, but is rare in Florida. It is
pale brown to dark brown, often bearing a narrow, pale yellow stripe on the hind margin of the
forewings that forms a distinct dorsal stripe on the forewings when the insect is at rest. A
sprinkling of darker spots often occurs, especially in the forewings. The hind wings are yellow
basally, with a curved black band crossing the wing, and the wing tip dusky. The hind tibiae are
yellow basally, with a black ring separating the basal third from the second third, and the distal
region variable. Adult males measure 23-31 mm in length, females 28-38 mm.
Similar Species. Sulfurwinged grasshopper is distinguished from the other two Florida
Arphia species by the shape of the ridge (frontal costa) at the center of the grasshopper's face.
In A. sulphurea, the ridge narrows markedly above
the antennae, sometimes being as little as one-half
the width of the ridge lower on the face. In contrast,
A. granulata and A. xanthoptera have a facial ridge
0 that is only slightly narrowed.
Distribution and Ecology. This species is
widely distributed in North America east of the Great
Plains. However, it apparently is rare in Florida,
having been collected only in northern Florida, and
only infrequently. The normal habitat is open pine
woods containing scrub oaks. It overwinters in the
Face of Arphia sulfurea (left) and A. nymphal stage, so adults are common in spring and
granulata and A. zanthoptera (right). early summer.
early summer.


29








Arphia xanthoptera
(Burmeister)
Autumn yellowwinged
grasshopper







Autumn yellowwinged grasshopper (female)
Identification. This is the largest of the Arphia
species found in Florida, and its large size is a dis-
tinguishing characteristic. It has a brown to blackish
body with yellow (sometimes orange) hind wings
that are marked with a curved black band crossing
the wing. The forewings are uniformly colored
brownish to blackish. The ridge (frontal costa) at the center of the face does not narrow mark-
edly above the antennae. The dorsal median ridge on the pronotum is strongly elevated and
arched. The tibiae are mostly dark, including the distal region, with a pale ring in the basal
quarter. Males of A. xanthoptera measure 31-38 mm, 36-46 mm in females.
Similar Species. The dorsal median ridge on the pronotum of A. xanthoptera is distinctly
elevated and arched, and this serves as the most reliable diagnostic feature to separate it from
other Arphia species. The dark distal region of the tibiae is not entirely consistent, but a fairly
reliable character to separate A. xanthoptera from A. sulphurea, and especially from A. granulata.
The forewings of A. xanthoptera lack the distinct yellowish stripe that is common on the other
Florida Arphia.
Distribution and Ecology. This species occurs in the autumn in northern Florida, but is
absent from the peninsula south of Orlando. It occurs widely in the United States east to western
Nebraska and Oklahoma. The habitat of A. xanthoptera includes weedy borders of cultivated
fields, brushy fields, and open woods.

SChortophaga austratior
Rehn and Hebard
Southern greenstriped
grasshopper







Souther- ,;Lr; '& I.r r; I..1'r I

Identification. There i ,e t..,o -,I:,i
forms prieent i.-, thi p_i,_ l_ .r kI ir m
and a _: i.r,_ oi rm. ,. ith irtermedi._te_
found i:-, both _exe_ The pill iclp.l diller-
ence betr... .eer, ,I 1in im i_ l,I i-, the :,_l, -
ing of the he.d, th,:,._,..lnd ,:,te ._:e .-A
the hind femora. The median ridge on the
pronotum is slightly elevated. An X-
shaped mark is present on the dorsal surface of the pronotum in the brown forms. The leading
edge of the forewings is marked with 2-3 large green or light brown spots, with the balance of
the forewings colored dark brown. The most important distinguishing character of this species is


30








the color of the hind wing. Unlike Florida's other
bandwinged species, southern greenstriped grasshopper
lacks a bold, black, transverse band on the hind wing.
The black band is present, but greatly muted, reduced
to no more than a smoky area in many individuals. Simi-
larly, the yellow in the basal area of the hind wing is
Smuted to absent. The upper surface of the hind femora
usually is marked with about 3 large dark spots; the cen-
tral or largest spot is triangular when viewed from above.
SThe hind tibiae are brown or bluish green. Males mea-
sure 21-25 mm in length, females 29-33 mm.
Distribution and Ecology. The range of southern
Southern greenstriped grasshopper greenstriped grasshopper is Florida and adjacent south-
eastern states. It is found throughout Florida in open
areas, but not in wooded sites. Favored habitats are old fields, heavily grazed pastures, and
edges of crop fields and roadways.

Dissosteira carolina
(Linnaeus)
Carolina grasshopper









Identification. The ,:'Ii Aol C.i:hIIIIii ,;;i. :-_ i


_;,pi_, i; el lci,_t Cd ,hcd,'- A _4h._ip i Ide I_,
lound dorsally on the pronotum. The hind wings
are black except for a marginal yellowish band
and smoky gray wing tips. The black hind wings serve to distinguish this species from all other
Florida grasshoppers. The hind tibiae are yellow. The males measure 37-42 mm in length, the
females 42-48 mm.
Distribution and Ecology. Carolina grasshopper is a strong flier, and is often seen hover-
ing or in the zigzag, fluttering flight of courtship. It is easily mistaken for a butterfly when in
flight. It is associated with barren soil such as dirt roadways and fallow fields. This species
occurs in northern Florida and widely throughout the United States.


Hippiscus ocelote
(Saussure)
Wrinkled grasshopper

Identification. This is a large, heavy-
bodied species. It is gray and brown. The
pronotum is usually rough or wrinkled,
which is the basis of the common name.
The pronotum often has a light X-shaped
mark dorsally on the pronotum, espe-
Wrinkled grasshopper (male) cially on males. The forewings bear large
dark spots and light bands; the latter con-


31








verge at the tips to form a light-colored "V" dorsally when
the wings are closed. The hind wings are usually pale
pinkish or orangish basally, but sometimes tend toward
yellow. The hind wings also have a broad dark band
Centrally, but with the tip poorly pigmented. The hind
tibiae are yellow. Males measure 28-36 mm in length,
females 39-44 mm.
S Distribution and Ecology. Hippiscus ocelote usu-
ally is found in pastures with thin or low-growing grass.
It feeds on grass, and is an occasional pasture pest in
Florida. Females are poor fliers, but males are active.
This species is found in northern Florida, and occurs
Wrinkled grasshopper widely east of the Rocky Mountains.


Pardalophora
phoenicoptera
(Burmeister)
Orangewinged grasshopper















Orangewinged grasshopper
(Above left: male. Above right: female.)


Identification. This is a large, gray and brown
grasshopper with large dark spots on the forewings.
The forewings also bear a light brown or gold di-
agonal line that forms a "V" when the grasshopper
is viewed from above. Some individuals bear an infusion of green on the head, thorax, and
hind femora. The basis of the common name is the bright orange or rose-colored hind wing,
which also bears a broad, curved black line crossing centrally. The distal portion of the hind
wind is smoky. The inner face of the hind femora are bright blue and orange. The hind tibiae
are orange. The males of this grasshopper measure 36-42 mm, females 45-55 mm.
Distribution and Ecology. This species occurs throughout Florida and the eastern United
States. It is obvious early in the season because the nymphs overwinter, and the adults are
present in the spring, when few other grasshoppers are mature. Orangewinged grasshopper
prefers an open habitat such as old fields and sandy areas, but may also be found in tall grass,
brush, and wooded areas if plant density is low. The male is an active flier, the heavy-bodied
female tending to remain on the soil. Sound production may occur on the ground (stridulation)
or in flight crepitationn), but this is not a particularly noisy species.


32








Psinidia fenestralis
(Serville)
Longhorn bandwinged
grasshopper







Longhorn bandwinged grasshopper (female)

Identification. This small, thin-bodied species '
is distinguished principally by its relatively long an-
tennae. The antennal segments are somewhat flat-
tened and the basal segments slightly larger. The
general color of P fenestralis is usually gray and
brown, but ranges from yellowish to blackish; its
overall color tends to match its habitat. A narrow yellowish stripe runs from the back of the eye
onto the prothorax. The leading edge of the forewings tends to be marked with alternating light
and dark spots. The hind wings bear an unusually wide, curved black band centrally. The basal
region of the hind wings is usually orange, but sometimes rose or yellow. The distal portion of
the hind wing is variably smoky or partially blackened. The hind tibiae are yellowish but bear a
black band. The body length is 20-27 mm in males, 26-33 mm in females.
Distribution and Ecology. This species is found throughout Florida, and the United States
east of the Mississippi River. Its habitat is open grassy areas, and specifically barren patches of
sand within this general habitat. When disturbed, these grasshoppers fly only a short distance
and alight on bare soil, where they blend in remarkably well with the background, becoming
almost invisible. Males sometimes crepitate while flying. Adults or nymphs can be found through-
out the year.

Spharagemon bolli Scudder
Boll's grasshopper









Boll's grasshopper (female)


Identification. Boll's grasshopper is a grayish
or reddish brown species, often covered with minute
dark spots that blend together on the forewings to
form diffuse, broad, transverse bands. The hind
wings bear a curved, black transverse band centrally, are pale yellow basally, and transparent
or smoky distally. The dorsal ridge of the pronotum is slightly elevated. The outer face of the
hind femora are weakly or indistinctly banded, but the inner face bears alternating black and
pale yellow bands. The hind tibiae are yellowish basally and reddish orange distally, with a
narrow black band separating the yellow and orange. The length of the males is 30-34 mm,
and females measure 35-45 mm.


33








Similar Species. The narrowness of the black band on the hind tibiae is useful in separat-
ing this species from the similar Spharagemon crepitans, which has a broader black tibial band.
Distribution and Ecology. Although this species is found widely in the United States,
from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, in Florida it is known only from the north-
western Panhandle region. The preferred habitat is open, sunny woods, although sometimes it
is found along the margins. Males crepitate and stridulate frequently, and frequently hover
about one meter above the ground while displaying.

Spharagemon crepitans
(Saussure)
Crepitating grasshopper







Crepitating grasshopper (female)

Identification. This grayish brown or reddish
brown grasshopper occasionally has diffuse, broad
dark bands across the forewings, but usually they
are lacking. The hind wings are pale yellow basally,
but are crossed by a wide, curved black band. Dis-
tally, the hind wing is smoky or colorless. The medial ridge of the pronotum is slightly elevated.
The hind tibiae are yellowish basally and reddish orange distally, with a broad black band
centrally. The length of males is 30-34 mm, females 37-42 mm.
Similar Species. The transverse black band of the hind wing is wider, and located more
centrally, than the corresponding band in Spharagemon bolli. The width of the black band on
the hind tibiae is similar to the width of the orange distal portion, considerably wider than in S.
bolli, a very similar species.
Distribution and Ecology. Crepitating grasshopper is confined almost entirely to Florida,
although a few specimens have been collected from southern Georgia. It occurs widely in the
state, and has been collected from diverse habitats. Surprisingly, it may be found in oak woods
in shaded areas not typically inhabited by grasshoppers.

Spharagemon crista tum
(Scudder)
Ridgeback sand grasshopper







Ridgeback sand grasshopper

Identification. This grayish or brownish grass-
hopper is heavily mottled with black spots. The
speckling on the forewings can be aggregated into
irregular transverse bands and black wing tips. The
sharp ridge found dorsally on the pronotum is higher
than any other Florida species. The hind wings of ridgeback sand grasshopper are yellow
basally, with a curved black band centrally, and a colorless or smoky wing tip. The hind femora


34








are speckled brown on the outer face, but the inner face bears alternating bands of black and
yellow. The hind tibiae are pale yellow basally, but principally dark orange or red. The body
length is 29-39 mm in males, 34-45 mm in females.
Similar Species. The only other species that have nearly such an elevated pronotal ridge
are Dissosteira carolina, Carolina grasshopper, and Arphia xanthoptera, autumn yellowwinged
grasshopper. However, D. carolina has black hind wings, and A. xanthoptera is uniformly dark,
so they are readily distinguished.
Distribution and Ecology. Ridgeback sand grasshopper is found throughout northern
Florida south to about Orlando. It also occurs in adjacent southeastern states and in the south-
ern Great Plains. The common habitat is fallow crop fields, old fields, margins of woods, and
sandy roadsides.

Spharagemon marmorata
(Scudder)
7. Marbled grasshopper







Marbled grasshopper (female)

Identification. Marbled grasshopper is gray and
brown, but has well-marked, blackish transverse
bands on the leading edge of the forewings that
merge into a solid black trailing edge. The hind wings
of S. marmorata bear an unusually wide, curved
black band centrally. The basal region of the hind wings is orange-yellow or dark yellow. The
distal portion of the hind wing is smoky or partially blackened. The hind tibiae are orange or
red, with a pale yellowish ring basally. The body length of marbled grasshopper is 26-31 mm
in males, and 27-35 mm in females.
Similar Species. The banding pattern of the forewings helps distinguish this species from
Psidinia fenestralis, a co-occurring species in sandy habitats. Tibia color also serves to distin-
guish S. marmorata from P. fenestralis, the latter species having yellow and black hind tibiae.
Distribution and Ecology. Marbled grasshopper can be found throughout Florida. It also
occurs in adjacent states, along the east coast to New England, and in the United States and
Canada surrounding the Great Lakes. This species frequents open, sandy areas. Sand dunes
along beaches, disturbed areas of pastures, and sunny, sandy areas of open woods commonly
are inhabited by this species. Males crepitate loudly during their lengthy, zigzag flights. While
on the ground they also stridulate and make complicated leg-lifting movements as part of their
courtship ritual. These grasshoppers can often be found throughout the year in Florida.


35








Trimerotropis maritima
(Harris)
Seaside grasshopper








Seaside grasshopper (male)

Identification. This grasshopper is light gray to
dark grayish brown. It bears numerous small brown
speckles over most of its body, and weakly to strongly
marked wide transverse bands on the forewings. The
hind wings are pale yellow basally, and marked with a curved black transverse band centrally.
The distal portion of the hind wing is transparent. The median ridge on the pronotum is barely
elevated. The outer face of the hind femora is gray and brown, with only weak evidence of
bands. The inner face, however, is pale yellow with three black bands. The hind tibiae are
yellow to red. The length of this species is 29-33 mm in males and 30-40 in females.
Distribution and Ecology. Found throughout Florida, this species also occurs throughout
the eastern United States west to the Rocky Mountains. This is a sand-loving grasshopper,
found in arid, barren areas. A common resident of ocean, lake and river margins, T maritima
also frequents fallow crop fields and sandy roadways. When disturbed it is likely to crouch
motionless, blending well with its sandy background. It is a strong flier, however, and can travel
long distances. Males display both crepitation and stridulation in their courtship ritual.


36








Spurthroated Grasshoppers
Subfamily Cyrtacanthacridinae

This :' .: :i is sometimes divided, with members of the genus Schistocerca comprising the
subfamily C ., ....:. K .,.i and several other related genera comprising the *'...
Melanoplinae. Here we do not recognize this division and retain the traditional, broader classi-
fication system.
The spurthroated grasshoppers, as the common name suggests, bear a spur or spine (the
prosternal spine) .. .i between the front legs. The antennae .. ii are -.. ..I i not
:i ::.. i or sword-shaped. The head is not .... ii large, and these grasshoppers do not
appear to be : heavy bodied. In most the head has a -1 -, but
in some groups the face is slanted. These grasshoppers may be wingless, or may bear short or
long wings. The forewings (tegmina) are pigmented, but lack the transverse bands common in
the bandwinged grasshoppers, subfamily Oedipodinae. The hindwings are not pigmented. The
:.:. .'. :,of ... : .. -. varies -. :. even ..'1...a :. .. ... The .
Schistocerca contains .ii long-winged, strong fliers. They are sometimes ..ii bird
grasshoppers in ...... ,.... of their large size and strong '.I abilities.
The subfamily Cyrtacanthacridinae is large and diverse, and several species are known only
from Florida. The' ... : ..... : is the : .. ', over 200 species in North America
and 26 species in Florida. It is sometimes i i: ::i. to distinguish among Melanoplus species,
and to a lesser degree Schistocerca species. Thus, the sexual or terminal abdominal structures
of the males are commonly used to :.- -. -among ....1 ..: .: species. The charac-
ters of interest are the paired cerci; the forked, two-lobed furcula; the supra-anal plate; and the
subgenital plate.
The habitat of these grasshoppers is highly variable. Although some frequent trees or the
..... .. : of dense woods, most are found in open grassy or weedy areas. The dietary
habits vary from .. .:... orfeeding :'. on one !' : to: -... or '
on plants from several plant families. Species may specialize on grasses, forbs, shrubs, or trees,
or may feed freely among i these plant types.
There are 45 species of C. -: ..: ... in Florida, found in 9 genera:

Aptenopedes
A. aptera Scudder
A. sphenarioides Scudder

Eotettix
E. palustris Morse
E. pusillus Morse
E. signatus Scudder

Gymnoscirtetes
G. morse Hebard
G. pusillus Scudder

Hesperotettix
H. floridensis Morse
H. osceola Hebard
H. viridis (Thomas)

Leptysma
L. marginicollis (Serville)


37








Melanoplus
M. adelogyrus Hubbell
M. apalachicolae Hubbell
M. bispinosus Scudder
M. davisi (Hebard)
M. forcipatus Hubbell
M. furcatus Scudder
M. gurneyi Strohecker
M. impudicus Scudder
M. indicifer Hubbell
M. keeleri (Thomas)
M. nanciae Deyrup
M. ordwayae Deyrup
M. propinquus Scudder
M. puer (Scudder)
M. punctulatus Scudder
M. pygmaeus Davis
M. querneus Rehn and Hebard
M. rotundipennis Scudder
M. sanguinipes (Fabricius)
M. scapularis Rehn and Hebard
M. scudderi (Uhler)
M. withlacoocheensis Squitier and Deyrup
M. strumosus Morse
M. symmetricus Morse
M. tepidus Morse
M. tequestae Hubbell

Paroxya
P. atlantica Scudder
P. clavuliger (Serville)

Schistocerca
S. alutacea (Harris)
S. americana (Drury)
S. ceratiola Hubbell and Walker
S. damnifica (Saussure)
S. obscura (Fabricius)

Stenacris
S. vitreipennis (Marschall)


38








Aptenopedes aptera
Scudder
Wingless Florida grasshopper


1n ,in. r --!.' .r,,.l 4 1r ,. l. r4 | 4I.I P' l


Identification. This ,3reev. ,31._shop-
pei h,_ ,_ dltI-,I:I I. t'd lace The pr _'-
ence of a spine or spur ventrially. behind
the head, however, separates it from
slantfaced grasshoppers, with which it is easily confused. It is also easy to confuse the nymphal
and adult stages, because the adult shows virtually no evidence of wings. Obviously this spe-
cies is flightless. This species usually is well marked with a yellowish or reddish stripe on the
side of the pronotum, and the males usually have a distinct white stripe dorsally on the abdo-
men. The hind tibiae are bluish green. Females are much larger and more robust than males.
The males measure 15-21 mm in length, the females 21-33 mm.
Similar Species. Hesperotettix oceola bears a strong resemblance to A. aptera because
the general body form and color patterns are similar. However, the short wings of adult H.
osceola should serve to distinguish it from wingless Florida grasshopper.
Distribution and Ecology. Wingless Florida grasshopper is found throughout Florida in
arid areas, particularly in association with oak shoots and dwarf oaks in scrub habitats. It also
is found in adjacent southeastern states.

Aptenopedes
sphenarioides Scudder
Linearwinged grasshopper












Identification. This species is usu-
ally green, but sometimes tends toward purplish brown. Like Aptenopedes aptera, this species
has a strongly slanted face, and superficially resembles slantfaced grasshoppers, subfamilies
Gomphocerinae and Acridinae. It bears the ventral spine or spur, however, that marks the
subfamily Cyrtacanthacridinae. This grasshopper, in the adult stage, has its wings reduced to
elongate linear pads, which is the basis of the common name. This species is flightless. A light
and dark stripe is usually present laterally, running from the top of the eye to the tip of the wing
pads. A similar stripe may occur down the center of the back, though this is much more fre-
quent among males than females. The hind tibiae are bluish green. Females are considerably
larger and more robust than males. The males measure 16-23 mm in length, the females 22-
30 mm.
Similar Species. Hesperotettix osceola bears a strong resemblance to A. sphenarioides
because the general body form and color patterns are similar. However, the short but obvious


39








wings of adult H. osceola should serve to distinguish it from linearwinged grasshopper, which
bears only a small flap or pad rather than a wing.
Distribution and Ecology. This is a fairly common grasshopper found throughout Florida
among grass and shrubs in open areas and open high pine, flatwood, and hammock habitats.
It also occurs in adjacent southeastern states.

Eotettix palustris Morse
Swamp eastern grasshopper

Identification. This small but attractive grasshopper is metallic yellowish green or brown-
ish green. A broad black stripe connects the eye to the posterior margin of the pronotum. The
hind femora are yellowish, the hind tibiae pale reddish. The forewings of this flightless grass-
hopper are oval and shorter than the prothorax. The length of the body is 15-15.5 mm in
males and 21-22 mm in females.
Similar Species. The oval forewings serve to distinguish this species from the similar Eotettix
pusillus, which has forewings that are nearly round. It can also be distinguished from E. signatus,
which has forewings that are longer than the pronotum and which taper to a rounded but
distinct point.
Distribution and Ecology. The distribution of swamp eastern grasshopper apparently is
restricted to northern Florida. It is found in moist areas of pine woods.

Eotettix pusillus Morse
Little eastern grasshopper

Identification. This metallic grass-
hopper is strikingly small, males measur-
ing only 10-15 mm in length and females
15.5-20 mm. It is metallic yellowish
green, brownish green, or reddish brown.
SThe pronotum bears a black spot later-
ally behind the eye, but it does not ex-
Sstr tend completely to the posterior margin
Little eastern grasshopper (female) of the pronotum. The hind femora and
tibiae are reddish gold or greenish gold. Most abdominal segments are partially black, which
results in a black vertical banding pattern. The forewings of this flightless species are almost
round, an important distinguishing character, and shorter than the pronotum. Interestingly, the
nymphal stage differs completely in color, possessing a black body with a red and gold head.
Similar Species. The black spot on the lateral lobe of the pronotum does not extend to the
posterior margin of the pronotum, as occurs in Eotettix palustris and E. signatus. The hind tibiae
of the other Florida Eotettix species are reddish, whereas in E. pusillus they tend toward gold.
Distribution and Ecology. Little eastern grasshopper occurs in northern Florida and other
southeastern states. It is found in open pine and oak woods.

Eotettix signatus Scudder
Handsome Florida grasshopper

Identification. This species is metal-
lic yellowish green or bluish green. The
forewings of this flightless species are
elongate oval and as long as, or longer
than, the pronotum. This species is
marked with a lateral black stripe run-
ning from the eye to the posterior edge
of the pronotum. The hind tibiae are red.
Handsome Florida grasshopper (female)
The males measure 18-21 mm in length,
the females 19.5-30.6 mm.


40








Similar Species. The length and shape of the forewings serve to distinguish E. signatus
from E. palustris and E. pusillus. The latter two species have round to oval forewings that are
shorter than the pronotum.
Distribution and Ecology. Eotettix signatus occurs throughout Florida, but its distribution
apparently is restricted to Florida. The habitat of this species is variable. It can be found in
moist or fairly dry areas, in open pine forests or on prairie. Sometimes it is abundant adjacent
to ponds.

Gymnoscirtetes morsel Hebard
Morse's wingless grasshopper

Identification. This species is wingless, greenish yellow to tan, and bears a blackish lateral
stripe running from each eye to about the midpoint of the abdomen. Thus, it is very similar in
appearance to Gymnoscirtetes pusillus Scudder. The male measures 14-16 mm in length, the


female 19.5-21.5 mm.
In males, the cerci taper gradually to
a sharp point, but the dorsal edge is
strongly curved. The furcula is apparent,
but not elongate. The tip of the subgenital
plate is extended and elevated. It is about
twice as high as it is wide. The lateral
margins of the subgenital plate also are
strongly elevated.
Similar Species. Gymnoscirtetes
morse is slightly larger than G. pusillus.
In G. pusillus the tubercle at the tip of
the subgenital plate in males is about as


A


B


C


Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
plate (C) of male G. morsel.


broad as high, whereas in G. morse the tubercle is twice as high as wide. The lateral margins
of the subgenital plate are strongly elevated, a character absent from G. pusillus. In addition,
the dorsal edge of the cerci in G. pusillus is relatively straight, orienting downward only slightly
at the tip, whereas in G. morse the dorsal edge is strongly curved.
Distribution and Ecology. Morse's wingless grasshopper is known only from northern
Florida and southern Alabama, but may inhabit nearby southern Georgia as well. It is found in
wet areas and among wiregrass in pine forests.


Little wingless grasshopper (female)


A B
Supra-analplate and furcula (A), cercus (B
plate (C) of male G. pusillus.


Gymnoscirtetes pusillus
Scudder
Little wingless grasshopper

Identification. This small grasshop-
per is greenish yellow to tan in color, and
bears a black and white lateral stripe run-
ning from each eye to about the mid-
point of the abdomen or beyond. The
adult is wingless. Little wingless grass-
hopper greatly resembles Gymnoscirtetes
morse Hebard, Morse's wingless grass-
hopper. The males measure 12.5-15 mm
in length and the females 17-22 mm.
S In males, the furcula is barely visible.
The cerci taper gradually to a point, but
the dorsal edge is almost straight. The
C tip of the subgenital plate is slightly ex-
and su l tended into a tubercle about as high as it
) and subgenital
is wide.


41








Similar Species. In G. pusillus the tubercle at the tip of the subgenital plate in males is
about as broad as high, whereas in G. morse the tubercle is twice as high as wide. The lateral
margins of the subgenital plate are not elevated, as occurs in G. morse. Also, the cercus of G.
pusillus is relatively straight, with only the tip curved slightly downward, whereas in G. morse
it is strongly curved.
Distribution and Ecology. The habitat of little wingless grasshopper is wet areas of pine
forests, where it inhabits the undergrowth, or adjacent to ponds. This is an agile species that
easily eludes capture. It has been found throughout Florida except for the southernmost areas,
and is also known from Georgia.


Hesperotettix floridensis
Morse
Florida purplestriped
grasshopper

Identification. This is a fairly large,
robust grasshopper. Despite the common
name, it is principally bright green. The
only purple stripe is a narrow dorsal stripe
on the pronotum, and this is often ab-
sent. Portions of the femora tend to be
Florida purplestriped grasshopper (female)
purplish, however. The pronotum is a
large structure, and rather rough in tex-
ture. The forewings are oval and short, measuring about one and a half times as long as broad.
The hind tibiae are green or bluish green. Males of this species measure 17.5-21 mm, females
24-30 mm.
Distribution and Ecology. Florida purplestriped grasshopper is apparently restricted to
northern Florida and adjacent areas of Georgia. Its habitat is brushy and wet areas, and
open woods.

Hesperotettix osceola
Hebard
Osceola's grasshopper

Identification. This is a principally
green species, but the forewings are col-
ored by a narrow stripe of reddish purple
edged with white. A dorsal white stripe
extends the length of the pronotum and
abdomen, and a short black and white
Osceola's grasshopper (female) stripe occurs laterally behind each eye.
The light dorsal stripe on the pronotum
is bordered by dark stripes. The forew-
ings are usually shorter than the the prothorax. The hind tibiae are greenish blue. Males mea-
sure 14-19 mm in length, females 18-21 mm.
Similar Species. The short forewings and white abdominal stripe distinguish this species
from the similar H. viridis. Hesperotettix osceola also resembles Aptenopedes aptera and A.
sphenarioides, but the Aptenopedes species lack true wings.
Distribution and Ecology. This uncommon species is found only in Florida. Its habitat is
scrub oak woods and other open, arid locations.


42








Hesperotettix viridis
(Thomas)
Meadow purplestriped
grasshopper

Identification. This is a colorful spe-
cies, although the eastern form found in
Florida is much less striking than the form
found in western states. It is principally
green, but the forewings are colored by
a broad stripe of reddish purple edged
Meadow purplestriped grasshopper (female) with white. Purplish coloration is found
with white. Purplish coloration is found
dorsally along the abdomen and some-
times occurs laterally on the pronotum of some individuals. A short black and white stripe
occurs laterally behind each eye. The light stripe on the dorsal surface of the pronotum is
bordered by dark stripes. The forewings may be long, reaching the tip of the abdomen or
slightly beyond, or may be abbreviated, extending about two thirds the length of the abdomen.
The hind tibiae are blue. The length of males is 16-18 mm; females measure 18-28 mm.
Similar Species. The forewings are always longer than the pronotum in this species, a
character that distinguishes it from H. osceola. Hesperotettix viridis is quite variable in appear-
ance, however, so its specific status is subject to debate, and it has acquired several names.
Distribution and Ecology. Meadow purplestriped grasshopper is found in northern Florida,
and throughout most of the United States. It normally is found inhabiting weedy and brushy
locations, particularly dry habitats.


Leptysma marginicollis
(Serville)
Cattail toothpick grasshopper

Identification. This slender, elongate
grasshopper has a very pointed head and
flattened, sword-shaped antennae. Thus,
it superficially resembles gomphocerine
grasshoppers, but is easily distinguished
by the presence of the spur or spine ven-
trally between the front legs. Cattail Cattail toothpick grasshopper (female)
toothpick grasshopper is usually brown-
ish with a whitish, yellow, or brown stripe
from the eye to the base of the front legs. The head is as long as, or longer than, the pronotum.
Dorsally, the body may also be reddish or pinkish. The front wings are sharply pointed, extend-
ing 3-5 mm beyond the tip of the abdomen. The body length is 28-31 mm in males and 31-
38 mm in females.
Similar Species. This species is easily confused with Stenacris vitreipennis, but in L.
marginicollis the head is at least as long as the pronotum, whereas in S. vitreipennis the head
is shorter than the pronotum. The antennal segments are considerably wider than in S.
vitreipennis.
Distribution and Ecology. Cattail toothpick grasshopper inhabits wet areas, and is usu-
ally found on emergent vegetation such as cattails and sedges. Adults fly readily when dis-
turbed but never alight on soil. They usually land on the stem of emergent vegetation and
move quickly to the side opposite the source of disturbance. This species is known throughout
Florida except for the Keys, and also occurs in other eastern and southwestern states.


43








Melanoplus adelogyrus Hubbell
St. Johns' spurthroat grasshopper

Identification. This is a small, short-winged species. The forewings are shorter than the
pronotum, and elongate-oval. The forewings are widely separated dorsally. The general color
is reddish brown or purplish gray above, and yellowish below. The males have behind the eye
a shiny black stripe that extends across the pronotum to the first abdominal segments, but this
pattern is indistinct in females. This black stripe is very wide on the anterior portion of the
pronotum, narrowing markedly on the posterior region of the pronotum. The hind femora are
dull yellow, sometimes with black spots but not complete bands. The hind tibiae are purplish
green. The males measure 12.5-15 mm, the females 17-21 mm.


In males, the furcula is very short. The
dorsal edge of the cerci is depressed to-
ward the midpoint of the cerci, with the
tip expanded slightly, bluntly rounded,
and flattened. The subgenital plate is only
weakly elongated.
Similar Species. The shape of the
black stripe on the pronotum is impor-
tant in distinguishing Melanoplus
adelogyrus from M. apalachicolae, M.


T7cco


Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
plate (C) of male M. adelogyrus.


gurneyi, M. ordwayae, and M. tequestae. The flattened tip of the cerci is a useful character for
separating M. adelogyrus from the very similar M. puer.
Distribution and Ecology. Melanoplus adelogyrus is found only in high pine and scrub
habitat in northeastern Florida, east of the St. Johns River in Volusia County. Apparently this
broad river has served as an ecological barrier, allowing M. adelogyrus to evolve and differen-
tiate from M. puer. This latter species is found west of the St. Johns River.


A


B


C


Apalachicola spurthroat grasshopper (male)


A


B


Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and st
plate (C) of male M. apalachicolae.

black spots but not complete bands. The h
13-14.5 mm in length, the females 17-20.,


Hubbell
Apalachicola spurthroat
grasshopper

Identification. A small short-winged
species, Melanoplus apalachicolae is
closely related to M. puer, and very simi-
S lar in appearance to M. tequestae. The
forewings are shorter than the pronotum,
elongate-oval, and widely separated dor-
sally. The general color is reddish brown
or purplish gray above, and yellowish be-
low. The pronotum is more elongate and
narrow than in related species. The males
have a shiny black stripe behind the eye
that extends across the pronotum, but
this pattern is indistinct in females. This
black stripe is narrow and has parallel
C sides on the anterior portion of the
Ibgenital pronotum, widening slightly on the pos-
terior region of the pronotum. The hind
femora are dull yellow, sometimes with
ind tibiae are purplish green. The males measure


In males, the furcula is short and rounded, but well developed. The cerci are tapered, but
although the ventral margin tapers evenly throughout its length, the dorsal margin is tapered
abruptly at the base, leaving the remainder of the dorsal margin almost straight.


44








Similar Species. The shape of the black stripe on the lateral lobe of the pronotum is an
important character to distinguish M. apalachicolae, M. gurneyi, M. ordwayae, and M. tequestae
from M. puer and M. adelogyrus. The presence of a furcula serves to distinguish M. apalachicolae
from M. tequestae and M. ordwayae, which lack a visible furcula. The abrupt tapering of the
dorsal margin at the base of the cerci distinguish M. apalachicolae from M. gurneyi, in which
both the dorsal and ventral margins taper gradually and symmetrically to the tip.
Distribution and Ecology. This species is known only from the sandy uplands west of
Tallahasee in Gadsden and Liberty counties in northwest Florida. The high pine habitat is
mostly turkey oak, blue jack oak, or longleaf pine, with an understory of wiregrass and oak
seedlings.

Melanoplus bispinosus
Scudder
Twospined spurthroat
grasshopper

Identification. This medium-sized
Melanoplus is grayish brown to reddish
brown. A dark bar extends from the eye
onto the lateral lobe of the pronotum.
The front wings are marked with a row
of dark spots centrally. The forewings
Twospined spurthroat grasshopper (male) of dark spots centrally. The forewings
extend to the tip of the abdomen or be-
yond. The hind femora bear large dark
spots that fail to constitute transverse
\ stripes. The hind tibiae are bluish green
or blue. Males measure 25-30 mm in
length, females 26-32 mm.
In males, the furcula is slightly diver-
gent, and extends to about one-half the
A B C length of the supra-anal plate. The large
Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital "spinelike" furcula apparently is the ba-
plate (C) of male M. bispinosus. sis for the name of this grasshopper. The
cerci are elongate, narrowed at the
middle and rounded distally; the outer face of the tip is grooved or recessed.
Distribution and Ecology. This species is found through most of Florida, though rarely in
large numbers. It occurs in other southeastern states and west to Texas and Kansas. Twospined
spurthroat grasshopper frequents pastures, crop fields, and roadsides.

Melanoplus davisi
(Hebard)
Davis' oak grasshopper

Identification. This is among the
largest of the short-winged Melanoplus,
but otherwise indistinct. General color is
brown, olive, or yellowish brown above
S and yellowish below, with a black stripe
extending from the eye onto the
Davis' oak grasshopper (male) pronotum. The forewings are oval,
shorter than the pronotum, and overlap
dorsally. The hind femora are reddish yel-
low, with two transverse bars that tend to be present in males but absent in females. The hind
tibiae are red. The males measure 18-22 mm, the females 25-27 mm.
In males, the furcula consists only of minute, rounded appendages. The cerci are broad and
short, turning upward distally to a flattened, blunt tip.


45








Similar Species. Melanoplus davisi
shares the overlapping forewing charac-
ter with M. scapularis, M. strumosus, and
M. scudderi. It is difficult to confuse M.
davisi with M. scapularis due to the shape
of the cerci, which is expanded distally A B C
in the latter species. Similarly, in M. Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
strumosus the cerci are long, slender, and plate (C) of male M. davisi.
constricted at the middle, so this species
is easily distinguished. Melanoplus scudderi is more similar, with both species having cerci that
turn upward distally into a blunt tip. However, the furcula of M. davisi appears to be minute
rounded appendages, whereas in M. scudderi they are pointed. Also, the tip of the cerci is
much wider in M. scudderi than in M. davisi.
Distribution and Ecology. This grasshopper is found in northern Florida, but apparently
does not occur in adjacent states. High pine is the favored habitat, where it feeds on under-
story, particularly low-growing oak.


loothcercus spurthroat grasshopper (male







A B


Supra-analplate and furcula (A), cercus (B)
plate (C) of male M. forcipatus.


SMelanoplus forcipatus
Hubbell
Toothcercus spurthroat
grasshopper

Identification. This small short-
winged species is very similar in appear-
ance to M. nanciae and related Melano-
plus species in the puer group. The
forewings are shorter than the pronotum,
Struncate-oval, and widely separated
above. The general color is reddish
brown or purplish gray above, and yel-
lowish below. The males have behind the
eye a shiny black stripe that extends
across the pronotum and is nearly equal
in width from the anterior to the poste-
rior edge of the lateral lobe. This pattern
C is indistinct in females. The hind femora
and subgenital are dull yellow, sometimes with black
spots but not complete bands. The hind
tibiae are purplish green. The males mea-


sure 11.5-14.5 mm in length, the females 17-20.5 mm.
In males, the furcula is not visible. The cerci are distinctive and serve to identify this species
readily. Basally the cerci are broad, with the upper and lower margins nearly parallel. Beyond
the middle, however, the cerci fork into a short stubby dorsal projection and a long, tapering,
downward-curving and flattened ventral projection. The cerci also curve inward markedly and
bear small teeth or projections dorsally or on the inner face. The supra-anal plate is less broad
and less shield-like than in many species, with the plate tapering rapidly in the basal half, and
less so in the distal half.
Similar Species. Melanoplus forcipatus closely resembles M. indicifer Hubbell. However,
the cercus of M. forcipatus bears a relatively prominent, broad, and strongly curved ventral
projection, and small toothlike projections dorsally and on the inner face. In contrast, the cer-
cus of M. indicifer is less prominent, not usually bearing teeth dorsally and on the inner face,
and with the ventral projection narrow and not strongly curved. Although these two species are
closely related, they do not occur in the same geographic areas of Florida, with M. indicifer
restricted to the east coast of Florida near Palm Beach.
Distribution and Ecology. The distribution and habitat of Melanoplusforcipatus is largely
the same as M. tequestae, the scrub oak habitat of the sandy ridges of central Florida.


46








Melanoplus furcatus Scudder
Larger forktailed grasshopper

Identification. This is a large, robust, long-winged species. It is brownish in general colora-
tion, but frequently with reddish or dark brown, especially dorsally. The dark bar commonly
found behind the eye of Melanoplus species extending along the lateral lobe of the pronotum,
may be present or absent. The forewing is darker basally and lighter distally. Small dark spots


may be present or absent centrally on
the forewing. The hind femora may bear
a dark bar. The hind tibiae are dull red.
The males measure about 31 mm in
length, the females about 39 mm.
In males, the furcula is not visible. The
cerci are stout and forked, providing the
basis for the common name of this grass-
hopper. The cerci taper from the base to
about the midpoint, then expand into
dorsal and ventral, bluntly pointed tri-


A
A


B


C


Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
plate (C) of male M. furcatus.


angular structures.
Similar Species. Melanoplusfurcatus is closely related to M. symmetricus, and may even-
tually be shown to be a form of that species.
Distribution and Ecology. This species is found in northeast Florida and southern Geor-
gia. Its habitat is dense shrubbery near streams and swamps.


Gurney's spurthroat grasshopper (male)


A


B C


Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
plate (C) of male M. gurnevi.


Melanoplus gurneyi
Strohecker
Gurney's spurthroat grasshopper

Identification. This rare, small,
short-winged species is closely related to
Melanopluspuer, and very similar in ap-
pearance to M. apalachicolae. The forew-
ings are shorter than the pronotum, elon-
gate-oval, and widely separated dorsally.
The general color is reddish brown or
purplish gray above, and yellowish be-
low. The males have behind the eye a
shiny black stripe that extends across the
pronotum, but this pattern is indistinct
in females. This black stripe is narrow
and has parallel sides on the anterior por-
tion of the pronotum, widening slightly
on the posterior region of the pronotum.
The hind femora are brownish, some-
times with black spots but not complete
bands. The lower edge of the hind
femora is whitish. The hind tibiae are


purplish green. The males measure 13-14 mm in length, the females 17-20 mm.
In males, the furcula is short and rounded, but well developed. The cerci are symmetrically
tapered throughout their length, ending in a point. The cerci are about twice as long as wide.
Similar Species. The widening of the black stripe at the posterior region of the lateral lobe
of the pronotum is important in distinguishing M. gurneyi, M. apalachicolae, M. ordwayae and
M. tequestae from M. puer and M. adelogyrus. The presence of a furcula in this species serves
to distinguish M. gurneyi from M. tequestae and M. ordwayae, which lack visible furcula. The
symmetrical shape of the cerci serves to distinguish M. gurneyi from M. apalachicolae, in which


47








the ventral margin tapers evenly throughout its length, but the dorsal margin tapers abruptly at
the base, leaving the remainder of the dorsal margin almost straight.
Distribution and Ecology. This species is known only from the coastal area of Bay and
Okaloosa counties in western Florida. It inhabits xeric sand areas among oak and rosemary
plants.

Melanoplus impudicus
Scudder
Immodest spurthroat grasshopper

Identification. This is an indistinct
long-winged species, hardly deserving of
its common name. It is of medium size
and bears long wings, grayish brown
above and yellowish below. The stripe


row of small spots centrally. The outer face
of the hind femora is marked with incom-
plete dark bands. The hind tibiae are red-
Sdish. The males measure 19-21 mm, the
females 23-27 mm.
In males, the furcula consists of small
structures. The cerci narrow at the middle
A B C and are only slightly expanded distally,
tending to end in a blunt point. The outer
Supra-analplate andfurcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital face of the tip of the cerci is marked with
plate (C) of male M. impudicus.
a weak groove or depression.
Distribution and Ecology. Immod-
est grasshopper occurs through most of the eastern states, north to about New York. In Florida
it is known only from northern areas. Its habitat is dry open woodlands.

Melanoplus indicifer Hubbell
Spinecercus spurthroat grasshopper

Identification. This small short-winged species is very similar in appearance to other
Melanoplus species in the puer group. The forewings are shorter than the pronotum, truncate-
oval, and widely separated above. The general color is reddish brown or gray above, and yel-
lowish below. The males have behind the eye a shiny black stripe that extends across the
pronotum, and is nearly equal in width from the anterior to the posterior edge of the lateral lobe.
This pattern is indistinct in females. The hind femora are dull yellow, sometimes with black spots
but not complete bands. The hind tibiae are purplish green. The males measure 13-14.5 mm in
length, the females about 20 mm.
In males, the furcula is not visible. The cerci are distinctive but similar to that of M. forcipatus
Hubbell. The cerci are broad basally, with the upper and lower margins nearly parallel. Beyond
the middle, however, the cerci fork into a short stubby dorsal projection and a long, tapering
ventral projection that curves downward
only slightly. The supra-anal plate is less
broad and less shield-like than in many
species, with the plate tapering rapidly
in the basal half, and less so in the distal
half.
Similar Species. Melanoplus indi-
cifer closely resembles M. forcipatus A B C
Hubbell. However, the cerci of M. Supra-analplate andfurcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
forcipatus bear a relatively prominent, plate (C) of male M. indicifer.


48








broad, and strongly curved ventral projection. The cerci of M. forcipitatus also curve markedly
inward. In contrast, the ventral projection on the cerci of M. indicifer is less prominent, narrow,
and not strongly curved. Although these two species are closely related, they do not occur in
the same geographic areas of Florida, with M. indicifer restricted to the east coast of Florida
near Palm Beach.
Distribution and Ecology. This species is found only in sandy areas along the southeast-
ern coast of Florida, north of West Palm Beach. This portion of the state is populous, with little
habitat preserved for scrub-inhabiting species; thus, this grasshopper may soon become extinct.

Melanoplus keeleri
(Thomas)
Keeler's spurthroat grasshopper

Identification. Keeler's spurthroat is
moderately large for the genus
Melanoplus, and long-winged. It is gray-
ish brown or reddish brown in general
color, and yellowish ventrally. A dark bar
extends from the back of the eye onto
Keeler's spurthroat grasshopper (male) the lateral lobe of the pronotum. The
forewings bear a series of small brown
spots centrally. The forewings extend to
the tip of the abdomen or beyond. The
hind femora are marked with diffuse dark
transverse bars. The hind tibiae are
coral red. The males of this species
measure 23-29 mm in length, the fe-
A B C males 27-34 mm.
Supra-analplate andfurcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital In males, the furcula is reduced to very
plate (C) of male M. keeleri. small lobes. The cerci are distinctively
shaped, resembling a "boot" with a
rounded "toe" directed dorsally and a pointed "heel" directed ventrally.
Distribution and Ecology. Keeler's spurthroat occurs widely in Florida, and is found
throughout North America east of the Rocky Mountains. Its habitat is pasture and open woods.

Melanoplus nanciae Deyrup
Ocala clawcercus grasshopper

Identification. This small short-winged species was first described in 1996. It is fairly typi-
cal of the short-winged, scrub-inhabiting Florida species of Melanoplus. It is grayish brown, but
lighter below. The forewings are shorter than the prothorax, and widely separated dorsally. A
black stripe extends from the back of the eye across the prothorax, with the stripe equal in
width or slightly wider at the posterior region of the prothorax. The hind femora are brown,
with a large dark brown spot centrally. The hind tibiae are yellowish brown at each end but
bluish gray centrally. Length of males is about 14.5 mm; females measure about 19 mm.
In males, the furcula is absent. The
cerci are unique and diagnostic: The cerci
are broad basally, dividing into a long
pointed spine dorsally, and a rounded
lobe with a tooth ventrally. The tip of
the subgenital plate is elongate and
curved anteriorly over the tip of the
supra-anal plate. A B C
Similar Species. Although this spe-
Similar Species. Although this spe- Supra-analplate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
cies superficially resembles many short- plate (C) of male M. nanciae.
winged Melanoplus species, the cerci of


49








the males are diagnostic. Interestingly, the female of this species also has a projection on the
cercus, a feature that does not occur on other Florida short-winged Melanoplus.
Distribution and Ecology. This species is known only from the Ocala National Forest in
Lake County, Florida. Its habitat is poorly known, but it has been collected only from regrowth
in clearcut forest following harvest of pines.

Melanoplus ordwayae
Deyrup
Trail Ridge scrub grasshopper

Identification. This small short-
I Awinged Melanoplus was not discovered
until 1993. It is named after the Ordway
Preserve, the location of its discovery. It
is very similar in appearance to the nu-
merous high pine and scrub-inhabiting
Trail Ridge scrub grasshopper (male) Melanoplus species found in Florida. It
is brownish dorsally and lighter ventrally.
The forewings are shorter than the
pronotum, and widely separated dor-
sally. It bears behind the eye a dark stripe
that extends across the lateral lobe of the
pronotum. The stripe is not significantly
wider at either the anterior or posterior
A B C regions of the pronotum, although there
may be a hint of widening at the poste-
Supra-analplate andfurcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital ma b a int of widening at the pose-
plate (C) of male M. ordwayae. rior margin. The hind femora bear a dark
spot centrally. The hind tibiae are blue-
gray centrally, and brownish at each end.
Males measure about 15 mm in length, females about 18 mm.
In males, the furcula is not apparent. The cerci taper gradually to a point, but because the
ventral edge is more arched than the dorsal edge, the cerci point ventrally.
Similar Species. Based only on the morphology, M. ordwayae is easily confused with M.
tequestae. This latter species, however, occurs only from Orlando south to Lake Okeechobee.
Melanoplus ordwayae occurs well north of the area supporting M. tequestae. Positive identifi-
cation can also be made by examination of the internal genitalia. If the tip of the male abdo-
men in M. tequestae is pulled down to reveal the penis, a small forked appendage is revealed
near the apex on the posterior side of the penis. In M. ordwayae, the appendage is long,
originates basally, and is not forked.
Distribution and Ecology. This poorly known species has been collected only from Putnam
and Clay counties, in northcentral Florida. It inhabits scrub areas, particularly edges of scrub
oak thickets and open, white sand areas supporting herbaceous plants.

Melanoplus propinquus
Scudder
Southern redlegged grasshopper

Identification. This long-winged
species is grayish brown or yellowish
brown, with a yellow abdomen. A black
bar extends from the eye onto the lateral
lobe of the pronotum. The forewings are
brownish with a row of faint spots cen-
trally. The forewings extend to the tip of Southern redlegged grasshopper (male)
the abdomen or beyond. The hind
femora are yellowish brown or greenish


50








Yellow, and lack distinct bands. The hind
tibiae almost always are red, though blu-
ish tibiae are sometimes observed. The
Sale measures 19-26 mm in length, the
female 20-29 mm.
In males, the furcula is narrow and at
A B C least one-half the length of the supra-anal
S plate. The cerci are wide at the point of
Supra-analplate andfurcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital ate he cerci are
plate (C) of male M. propinquus. attachment, narrow markedly in the
basal region, and are narrow distally. The
tip is oriented dorsally. The subgenital plate terminates with a U-shaped apex.
Distribution and Ecology. Southern redlegged grasshopper is abundant in weedy pas-
tures, crop fields, along roadsides, and in other disturbed areas. Although it has been detected
in most of the state, it is abundant only in northern Florida. It also is found in the coastal plain
region of other southeastern states, but replaced by M. femurrubrum (DeGeer) in northern
areas of these states, and elsewhere in North America.


orida least spurthroat grasshopper (male)


A


B


C


Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
plate (C) of male M. puer.


Melanoplus puer (Scudder)
Florida least spurthroat
grasshopper

Identification. This is the smallest
member of the genus Melanoplus, and
like many of Florida's species, its wings
are short. The forewings are shorter than
the pronotum, elongate-oval, and widely
separated dorsally. The general color is
reddish brown or purplish gray above,
and yellowish below. The males display
behind the eye a shiny black stripe that
extends across the pronotum to the first
abdominal segments, but this pattern is
indistinct in females. This black stripe is
very wide on the anterior portion of the
pronotum, narrowing markedly on the
posterior region of the pronotum. The
hind femora are dull yellow, sometimes
with black spots but not complete bands.
The hind tibiae are purplish green. The
males measure 10-16 mm, the females
16-21 mm.


In males, the furcula is very short. The slender cerci taper gradually to a blunt tip, but are not
completely symmetrical; the dorsal edge is slightly concave. The tip of the cercus is not flat-
tened. The subgenital plate is only weakly elongated.
Similar Species. The narrowing of the black stripe on the posterior portion of the lateral
lobe of the pronotum is an important character in distinguishing Melanoplus puer from M.
apalachicolae, M. gurneyi, M. ordwayae and M. tequestae. The tip of the cerci is not flattened,
as in M. adelogyrus.
Melanoplus puer has at least three, and perhaps five, geographic races or subspecies in
Florida. By virtue of being short-winged, and inhabiting discontinuous "islands" of scrub habi-
tat, there is little opportunity for genetic blending of the isolated populations. Therefore, they
are evolving different structural characteristics that will eventually result in recognition as sepa-
rate species. The races may, in fact, be sexually incompatible now because of their isolation,
but have yet to evolve strongly different appearances. See the discussion on "What is a Spe-
cies" in the introductory section of this book for further discussion on this topic.
Distribution and Ecology. This species is found throughout the Florida peninsula, but not
elsewhere. It inhabits wiregrass patches in open woods, particularly scrub and high pine habitats.


51




















Pinetree spurthroat grasshopper (male)


A


B


C


Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
plate (C) of male M. punctulatus.


Melanoplus punctulatus
Scudder
Pinetree spurthroat grasshopper

Identification. This large grayish spe-
cies is unusual in that its body and forew-
ings bear numerous dark brown or black
spots of a moderate size. The underside is
reddish or yellowish. It is long-winged. The
dark bar behind the eye is indistinct. The
outer face of the hind femora is marked
with alternating blackish and grayish
bands. The hind tibiae are reddish or gray.
The males are 27-31 mm in length, the
females 37-45 mm.
In males, the furcula is barely visible.
The cerci are large and markedly ex-
panded beyond the middle. The sub-geni-
tal plate ends with an upward extension.
Distribution and Ecology. Pinetree
spurthroat grasshopper is found through-
out the eastern states and west to Arizona.
In Florida it is found in northern portions


of the state. This poorly known species apparently inhabits coniferous trees, and may be noctur-
nal. It is most often observed resting on the trunks of trees, where it blends in well with mottled
bark and the moss and lichens growing on tree trunks. The female reportedly deposits her eggs
within holes or crevices of dead tree trunks, a relatively uncommon habit among grasshoppers.


Melanoplus pygmaeus Davis
Pygmy spurthroat grasshopper

Identification. This small short-
winged species is poorly known. It is red-
dish brown above, and yellowish below.
The abbreviated forewings are elongate-
oval, and widely separated dorsally. As is
the case with most Melanoplus species, a
dark stripe is found behind the eye, ex-
tending onto the pronotum. The stripe is
about equal in width from the anterior to
the posterior margin of the lateral lobe of
the pronotum, but sometimes expands
slightly posteriorly. The hind femora are
yellowish brown with three dark blotches
dorsally. The hind tibiae are purplish blue.
The male ofM. pygmaeus measures about
14 mm in length, the female about 23 mm.
In males, the furcula is not visible. The
cerci are constricted near the middle and
elbowed, with the tip turned dorsally. The


Pygmy spurthroat grasshopper


A


B


C


Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
plate (C) of male M. pygmaeus.


tip is broadly rounded and flattened, and slightly concave or grooved.
Similar Species. The presence of a recessed or grooved area on the tip of the cerci cause M.
pygmaeus to resemble M. rotundipennis. The absence of a furcula and a pallium serve to distin-
guish this species from M. rotundipennis.
Distribution and Ecology. This species has been collected only in western Florida. It is
found in high pine and scrub habitats.


52




















Oak spurthroat grasshopper (male)


A B C
Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
plate (C) of male M. querneus.


Melanoplus querneus
Rehn and Hebard
Oak spurthroat grasshopper

Identification. This heavy-bodied
Melanoplus with forewings of interme-
diate length is flightless. The forewings
normally extend two-thirds to three-
fourths the length of the abdomen. The
body and forewings are brown with yel-
lowish or grayish markings above, yel-
lowish green below. A dark stripe extends
from the eye onto the pronotum, but
sometimes is relatively indistinct. The
outer face of the hind femora is marked
with two dark bands. The hind tibiae are
reddish. The males measure 22-27 mm
in length, the females 28-40 mm.
In males, the furcula is greatly reduced
or not apparent. The cerci are large and
expanded beyond the middle, especially
dorsally.


Distribution and Ecology. Found in northern Florida and adjacent states, this grasshop-
per inhabits the undergrowth and margins of woodlands. It seems to prefer moist areas or taller
vegetation.

Melanoplus rotundipennis
(Scudder)
Roundwinged spurthroat
grasshopper

Identification. This is the most com-
mon of the short-winged Melanoplus
species in Florida. It is a small grasshop-
per, but about average in size for the
short-winged species. It is reddish brown
dorsally and yellowish ventrally. A dark
o an e ent Roundwinged spurthroat grasshopper (male)
stripe is found behind the eye, and it ex-
tends over the pronotum and onto the
abdomen in males, but only to about the
middle of the pronotum in females. The
hind femora are yellowish or brownish,
with two transverse bars often evident.
The hind tibiae are bluish. The forew-
ings are not really round, despite the
common name, but they are only slightly A B C
elongate-oval. The forewings are widely
Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
separated dorsally. Males of this grass- plate (C) of male M. rotundipennis.
S.-1 plate (C) of male M. rotundipennis.
hopper measure about 13.5-17.5 mm
in length, females 17-23 mm.
In males, the furcula is very short, consisting of rounded lobes. The cerci are constricted near
the middle, and slightly widened and flattened or shallowly grooved at the tip. The most strik-
ing feature in the male of this species is the enlarged pallium, an erect conical structure at the
tip of the supra-anal plate. This structure protrudes dorsally from the tip of the abdomen, and
is an important character for distinguishing this species from the other short-winged Melanoplus.


53








Similar Species. The presence of a pallium, an erect conical structure at the tip of the
supra-anal plate, distinguishes this species from most other short-winged Melanoplus species.
Only M. withlacoocheensis also possesses the enlarged pallium, but M. withlacoocheensis is
easily distinguished because the tips of the cerci have a small ventral tooth and are swollen,
appearing bulbous when viewed from above.
Distribution and Ecology. This species occurs only in northern Florida and southern
Georgia. Within Florida it occurs south to about Orlando and Lakeland. It is common in a
number of xeric and mesic habitats, including dry hammocks, flatwoods, high pine, and scrub
oak. It is particularly common along edges of woods, and sometimes ventures out in old fields.


Migratory grasshopper (male)


A


B
B


C


Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
plate (C) of male M. sanquinipes.


Melanoplus sanguinipes
(Fabricius)
Migratory grasshopper

Identification. Migratory grasshop-
per is grayish brown. A black stripe usu-
ally extends from the eye onto the lat-
eral lobe of the pronotum. The forew-
ings are long, brownish, and bear a row
of dark brown spots centrally. The forew-
ings extend to the tip of the abdomen or
beyond. The hind femora usually have
two oblique broad dark bands. The hind
tibiae normally are red, but sometimes
blue. The male measures 19-24 mm, the
female 18-29 mm.
In males, the furcula is slender, diverg-
ing, and measures about one-fourth to
one-third the length of the supra-anal
plate. The cerci are compact, about twice
as long as broad, and rounded at the tip.
The apical margin of the subgenital plate
is extended; when viewed from above it
is clearly notched in the middle.


Distribution and Ecology. Migratory grasshopper occurs throughout North America. In
western states it sometimes attains very high and damaging densities. At high densities a be-
havioral change occurs wherein the grasshoppers become gregarious, moving as a group. Dur-
ing such times the grasshoppers may disperse long distances, resulting in the common name
"migratory grasshopper." In Florida, migratory grasshopper does not become excessively abun-
dant, and causes little damage. Its distribution is restricted to northern Florida. The favored
habitat of migratory grasshopper is weedy pastures, crops, and similar disturbed areas where
annual weeds are abundant.


Melanoplus scapularis
Rehn and Hebard
Lesser forktailed grasshopper

Identification. This short-winged
species is not unlike the very common
Melanoplus rotundipennis in general ap-
pearance. It is reddish brown above and
yellowish below. The black bar behind
the eye extends across the pronotum
onto the abdomen in both sexes. The bar
is equal in width, or expanding slightly
at the posterior margin of the pronotum.


Lesser forktailed grasshopper (male)


54








The short oval forewings overlap, or are
only narrowly separated i .i, The
outer face of the hind femora is gener-
S brown, ': ...... ... bars. The
hind tibiae are bluish gray or brownish.
The males measure 15-17.5 mm in
.. the females 19-22 mm.
A B C
In males, the furcula is not visible. The
most : : :: i. : characteristic of this Supra-anal plate andfurcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
species is the shape of the cerci. The cerci plate (C) of male M scapularis.
are enlarged, expanding --.. -1 from
the base and .- -:. into a '. ..:: rounded dorsal : .... and a more ...'..' i ventral
:. Sometimes the dorsal : : i: .is also pointed.
Similar Species. The overlapping forewings of this species cause it to resemble M. davisi,
M. scudderi, and M. strumosus. 'i' .... *. similar to these other ... ..i ? ..... .. species, M.
scapularis is *. 1, :. '. based on the shape of the forked cerci.
Distribution and Ecology. This species is known from northern Florida and i: .
states. Its habitat is scrub oak woods or among low-growing bushes among pines on sandy soil.

Melanoplus scudderi (Uhler)
Scudder's spurthroat grasshopper


Identification. This shor' species is .... *. 1 .. size, and brownish i.. .1 brown
in general body color. The oval or elongate-oval forewings overlap, or are only ": *1.ii sepa-
rated, '...i In .. i.. the forewings vary from less than the :. of the pronotum to
: longer. The dark stripe ........ found behind the eye in Melanoplus species may be
present or weak in both sexes. The hind
femora lack transverse bands on the
outer face, but two dark spots may be
present i ... i: The hind tibiae are red.
The males measure 14-18.5 mm in
length, females 22-24 mm.
In males, the furcula consists of minute
triangular structures, and sometimes is
A B C not apparent. T cerci taper from the
Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital base to a broadly rounded point, usu-
plate (C) of male M. scudderi. .. curving i The distal half of
the cerci are ..; :' concave or grooved.
Similar Species. Melanoplus scudderi is similar to M. davisi, .: both species having
cerci that turn upward i: ; .:, into a blunt tip. However, the furcula ofM. davisi appears to be
minute rounded appendages, whereas in M. scudderi they are pointed. Also, the tip of the cerci
is much wider in M. scudderi than in M. davisi. Other short-winged species that have overlap-
ping -- :' include M. and M. strumosus, but are J. by
the ...;.. .:i, : :: .i shape of their cerci.
Distribution and Ecology. Scudder's short-winged grasshopper is widely distributed in
the eastern United States, west to Nebraska and Texas. In Florida its distribution is limited to
areas of the state. Its habitat is ....... ..... : oaks and grasses in oak and
longleaf pine woods growing on sandy soil.


55


















swollen spurthroat grasshopper (male)


A


B


C


Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
plate (C) of male M. strumosus.


Melanoplus strumosus
Morse
Swollen spurthroat grasshopper

Identification. A small, short-winged
species, this grasshopper superficially re-
sembles many other species in the puer
group, but has some easily observed dis-
tinguishing characteristics. Its general
color is reddish brown above and whitish
below. The dark stripe behind the eye
crosses the pronotum and extends onto
the abdomen in males, but is indistinct in
females. The oval forewings meet, or are
only slightly separated, dorsally. The yel-
lowish hind femora may bear two brown-
ish transverse bands, but often they are
weak or lacking. The hind tibiae are blu-
ish. The males measure 15-17 mm in
length, the females 17.5-26 mm.
In males, the furcula tapers markedly
at the base, and extends over about one-
third to one-half the length of the supra-


anal plate. The shape of the furcula apparently is the basis for the common name. The cerci are
long and slender, contracted at the middle, and bear a point at the tip that is oriented ventrally.
Similar Species. The tendency of the forewings to meet dorsally is a character shared with
Melanoplus davisi, M. scapularis, and M. scudderi, but the slender shape of the cerci distin-
guishes M. strumosus from these similar grasshoppers.
Distribution and Ecology. Melanoplus strumosus is known from throughout the south-
eastern states. In Florida, however, it is known only from the northern areas. It inhabits pine
woods with an oak understory, particularly among oak sprouts.


Melanoplus symmetricus
Morse
Symmetrical spurthroat
grasshopper

Identification. This large, robust,
long-winged species is brownish yellow.
There is sometimes a dark bar behind the
eye that extends onto the pronotum. The
hind femora generally are yellowish, but
sometimes brownish. The hind tibiae are
dull red. The males measure 28-30 mm
in length, the females 31-36 mm.
In males the furcula is not visible. The
cerci are large and flat. They are con-
stricted at the middle and expanded dor-
sally and ventrally at the tip. The dorsal
lobe may be more expanded, or equiva-
lent to the ventral lobe.
Similar Species. Melanoplus sym-
metricus is closely related to M. furcatus,


Symmetrical spurthroat grasshopper (male)


A


B


C
c


Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
plate (C) of male M. symmetricus.


and may eventually prove to be a form of that species.
Distribution and Ecology. This species is known only from western Florida. Its habitat is
dense shrubbery near streams and swamps.


56


Pn


1 Tn








Melanoplus tepidus Morse
Southern obovatewinged grasshopper

Identification. This medium sized, short-winged species is brownish dorsally and yellow-
ish ventrally. The wings are oval or egg-shaped, providing the basis for the common name. A
shiny black stripe extends from the eye back across the pronotum; it is about equal in width
throughout its length. Below this dark stripe the face and pronotum are ivory white. The forew-
ings are elongate, shorter than the pronotum, and separated above. The hind femora bear two
dark bands. The hind tibiae are grayish.
The males measure about 16-20 mm in
length, the females 23-29 mm.
S\ In males, the furcula is wide basally,
tapering rapidly to a point. The furcula
is about one-fourth the length of the su-
pra-anal plate. The cerci are broad ba-
sally, constricted near the middle, and
A B C expanded distally into a bluntly rounded
tip that is oriented dorsally. The tip is
Supra-analplate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital tip that is oriented dorsally. The tip i
plate (C) of male M. tepidus. concave or grooved. The subgenital plate
bears weak evidence of a subapical tu-
bercle.
Distribution and Ecology. This poorly known species is known in Florida only from Lib-
erty County in the western Panhandle, but may occur elsewhere. It also has been collected in
Mississippi. Its habitat is undescribed. Melanoplus tepidus is similar to a wide-ranging, more
northern species, M. obovatipennis (Blatchley); M. tepidus may eventually be found to be a
form of this latter species.


Melanoplus tequestae
Hubbell
Tequesta spurthroat grasshopper

Identification. A small short-winged
species, Melanoplus tequestae is closely
related to M. puer, and very similar in
appearance to M. apalachicolae and M.
ordwayae. The forewings are shorter
than the pronotum, elongate-oval, and
widely separated dorsally. The general
color is reddish brown or purplish gray
above, and yellowish below. This spe-
cies is more compact and robust than M.
apalachicolae, however. The males have
behind the eye a shiny black stripe that
extends across the pronotum, but this
pattern is indistinct in females. This black
stripe is narrow and has parallel sides on
the anterior portion of the pronotum,
widening slightly on the posterior region
of the pronotum. The hind femora are
dull yellow, sometimes with black spots


A


B


C


Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital
plate (C) of male M. tequestae.


but not complete bands. The hind tibiae are purplish green. The males measure 11.5-15 mm
in length, the females 17-20.5 mm.
In males the furcula is not visible. The cerci are tapered gradually from base to tip, but the
ventral margin usually is more curved than the dorsal margin, causing the tip of the cerci to be
pointed downward. In the southern range of this species some males display cerci that are
symmetrical, not curving downward. The cerci are about three times as long as wide.


57


I~YU~LU ~IJUrLllrUUL YrUSSIIUIJIJ~r (II1UI~/


O








Similar Species. The width of the black stripe on the lateral lobe of the pronotum is an
important character in distinguishing Melanoplus tequestae, M. ordwayae, M. gurneyi, and M.
apalachicolae from M. puer and M. adelogyrus. The absence of a furcula serves to distinguish
M. tequestae from M. apalachicolae and M. gurneyi, which have short but apparent furcula.
This species is easily confused with M. ordwayae, with which it shares a tendency for the male
cerci to be curved downward, but M. ordwayae is found only north of Orlando. Positive iden-
tification can also be made by examining the internal genitalia. If the tip of the male abdomen
in M. tequestae is pulled down to reveal the penis, a small forked appendage is revealed near
the apex on the posterior side of the penis. In M. ordwayae the appendage is long, originates
basally, and is not forked.
Distribution and Ecology. This species is named for a tribe of Native Americans that
inhabited the lower east coast of Florida at the time of Spanish exploration. This species is
known only from the central sand ridge area of central Florida, bounded by the Orlando area
in the north and the Lake Okeechobee area in the south. As is the case with most other short-
winged Melanoplus species, the principal habitat is open scrub oak.

Melanoplus
withlacoocheensis
Squitier and Deyrup
Withlacoochee grasshopper

Identification. This small short-
winged species was only recently discov-
ered inhabiting the southern portion of
the Brooksville Ridge, in west central
Florida. The grasshopper derives its
Withlacoochee grasshopper (male) name, withlacoocheensis, from its discov-
ery in and near the Withlacoochee State
Forest. It is grayish brown dorsally and
cream colored ventrally. The oval forew-
ings are widely separated dorsally. A
black stripe extends from behind the eye

The hind legs are grayish brown dorsally,
but fade into a cream color ventrally. The
SB C hind tibiae are purple to bluish. Males of
Supra-anal plate and furcula (A), cercus (B) and subgenital this grasshopper measure 15.4-16.5 mm
plate (C) of male M. withlacoocheenisis. in length, the females 20-29.5 mm.
In males, the furcula is small and re-
duced to two rounded lobes. The cerci are swollen or bulbous distally, with a small ventral
tooth. This species has a large and erect pallium that houses the genitalia.
Similar Species. This species easily could be mistaken for M. rotundipennis, from which it
is derived. However, the presence of the swollen cerci and the ventral tooth near the tip of the
cerci distinguish M. withlacocheensis from M. rotundipennis. Internally, the larger size and
serpentine shape of the penis in M. withlacoocheensis further aid in differentiation.
Distribution and Ecology. This species has been collected only on the southern portion
of the Brooksville Ridge in Citrus and Hernando counties. It is numerous in high pine habitats
containing open areas. Melanoplus withlacoocheensis occurs within the range of M.
rotundipennis, but so far M. rotundipennis has been found only along the eastern edge of the
range of M. withlacoocheensis.


58








Paroxya atlantica Scudder
Atlantic grasshopper

Identification. Atlantic grasshopper
is usually yellowish brown, but some-
times tends toward maroon or red. Its
face is moderately slanted. It also bears
behind the eye a black stripe that fades
near the middle of the pronotum, as is
common among Melanoplus species. In-





are shorter. The hind tibiae are bright blue or greenish blue. In males, the cerci are long, slen-
der, constricted at the middle, strongly incurved, with the tip flattened and broadly rounded.
The furcula is sh ot or barely visible. Males measure 16-24 mm in length, females 22-28 mm.
Similar Species. The length of the antennae and pronotum serve to distinguish this spe-
cies from Melanoplus species. The moderate size of P. atlantica serves to distinguish it from the
similar, but larger, P. clavuliger. Also, the antennae of male P. atlantica are shorter than the hind
femora, whereas in male P. clavuliger the antennae are longer than the hind femora.
Distribution and Ecology. Atlantic grasshopper is found throughout Florida and most of
the eastern United States. It inhabits wet areas, and is particularly common on the vegetation
around ponds, swamps, and in coastal salt marshes.

Paroxya clavuliger
(Serville)
Olivegreen swamp grasshopper

Identification. This species is green-
ish to greenish black, closely resembling
Paroxya atlantica in most respects. As in
P atlantica, P clavuliger is marked with
a dark stripe extending from the eye onto
the pronotum, but unlike in P atlantica,
Olivegreen swamp grasshopper (male) the stripe usually continues to the hind
margin of the pronotum. Paroxya
clavuliger is easily confused with Melanoplus species, but its antennae and pronotum are inor-
dinately long. In males, the antennae are about twice the length of the pronotum. Also in
males, the dorsal surface of the pronotum is elongate, about twice as long as wide. In Melanoplus
the antennae and pronotum are shorter. This species has bluish green hind tibiae. In males, the
cerci are long, slender, constricted at the middle, strongly incurved, and with the tip flattened
and broadly rounded. The antennae are strikingly long, in males measuring longer than the
hind femora. In males, the cerci are long, slender, constricted at the middle, strongly incurved,
and with the tip flattened and broadly rounded. The furcula is evident, measuring one-fourth to
one-third the length of the supra-anal plate. The males measure 20-27 mm in length, the
females 29-40 mm.
Similar Species. The lengths of the antennae and pronotum serve to distinguish this spe-
cies from Melanoplus species. The moderate size of P. atlantica serves to distinguish it from the
similar, but larger, P. clavuliger. Also, the antennae of male P. atlantica are shorter than the hind
femora, whereas in male P. clavuliger the antennae are longer than the hind femora.
Distribution and Ecology. Paroxya clavuliger occurs throughout Florida, and is wide-
spread in the eastern United States. It inhabits wet areas, and is normally associated with the
edges of ponds, freshwater marshes, and coastal saltmarshes.


59








Schistocerca alutacea
(Harris)


Identification. Rusty grasshopper is
highly variable in appearance. Its gen-
eral body color often is golden brown or
rusty brown which, of course, is the basis of the common name. It may also be olive with a
dorsal yellowish stripe running the length of the body, as is found in Schistocerca obscure
(Fabricius), but S. alutacea generally is smaller. Olive-colored individuals of S. alutacea are
easily confused with S. obscura, and the best approach to distinguish between the two species
is to examine the tip of the male abdomen. In S. obscura the notch of the male's subgenital
plate is V-shaped, whereas in S. alutacea it is U-shaped. Occasionally females lack the stripe
and instead bear indistinct brownish spots on the forewings. The hind tibiae of rusty grasshop-
per are brownish, with yellow spines bearing dark tips. In body length the males of S. alutacea
measure 30-40 mm, the females 43-54 mm.
Similar Species. Rusty grasshopper
may sometimes be confused with
Schistocerca obscura, but S. obscure
tends to be larger, and the notch of the
male's subgenital plate is V-shaped. Also,
the base color of the hind tibiae of S.
obscura is purplish or blackish rather than
the brown of S. alutacea. Rusty grass-
S. alutacea S. obscura hopper should not be confused with the
brownish S. damnifica, because it is
larger than this latter species.
Distribution and Ecology. Rusty grasshopper is found throughout Florida, and all except
the northernmost regions of the United States. It is found commonly in open woods, especially
sandy areas where scrub oak is abundant. It may also occur in pastures and the margin of
wooded areas.


60


(USt-.' o'r,."l I ,. I'_r
(Abo, : .... .: R,,)ht f,,.d:,- i








Schistocerca americana
(Drurv)


on occasion, to become a crop and tree
pest. American grasshopper is normally brownish or yellowish brown, with lighter and darker
areas. It usually bears a dorsal creamy white stripe extending along the front of the head to the
tip of the forewings. Immediately after molting to the adult stage, this grasshopper is pinkish or
reddish, but after a week or so the typical brown or yellow-brown color is acquired. The forew-
ings, which extend well beyond the tip of the abdomen, bear large dark brown spots. The hind
tibiae are red. The male measures 39-52 mm in length, the female 48-68 mm.
Distribution and Ecology. American grasshopper occurs throughout Florida and the eastern
United States. It is unusual in having two generations annually, one usually in April-June and
another beginning in August or September. The adults overwinter, and are active in the winter
whenever it is warm and sunny. When weather and food conditions allow American grasshop-
per to become abundant, behavioral changes become noticeable. Specifically, nymphs and
adults become gregarious, moving in unison and dispersing in swarms. Under such conditions
they can be very damaging to crops. The habitat of American grasshopper is open fields, and
open oak and pine woodlands. American grasshopper feeds on a wide variety of grasses, forbs,
shrubs, and trees. When disturbed, it often flies into trees, or a considerable distance from the
source of disturbance.


Schistocerca ceratiola
Hubbell and Walker
Rosemary grasshopper

Identification. This species is
mottled gray and brown with green on
the abdomen. A faint pale stripe occurs
dorsally on the head and pronotum, ex-

underside is markedly paler. The hind
tibiae are red or brown. This species is Rosemary grasshopper (male)
quite slim in general appearance. Males
of rosemary grasshopper measure 28-32 mm in length, females 36-40 mm.
Distribution and Ecology. Despite its moderately large size, rosemary grasshopper es-
caped notice until it was discovered in central Florida in 1928. It escaped earlier detection due
to (1) its restricted range; it occurs only in the areas on central and southeastern Florida's sandy
ridges, (2) its restricted diet; it feeds only on rosemary, Ceratiola ericoides, and (3) its restricted
period of activity; it is active only at night. It hides deep within rosemary bushes, where it is
effectively camouflaged during the daylight hours, and moves to the surface of the bushes at
night. This species occurs only in Florida. Although not uncommon in certain natural areas,
there is concern about its survival because its continued existence depends on availability of
rapidly disappearing habitats, scrub and high pine.


61


I4








Schistocerca damnifica
(Saussure)
Mischievous grasshopper

Identification. Mischievous grass-
hopper is reddish brown, usually with a
narrow brown line along the head and
pronotum. It lacks the pronounced yel-
lowish dorsal line commonly appearing
on some of the other Schistocerca spe-
cies. The forewings extend beyond the Mischievous grasshopper (male)
tip of the abdomen, but to a lesser de-
gree than the other Schistocerca species
in Florida. Schistocerca damnifica is a relatively small member of the genus, males measuring
25-29 mm in length, females 37-46 mm.
Similar Species. The lack of a dorsal light stripe, and its small size, serve to distinguish D.
damnifica from other Schistocerca species.
Distribution and Ecology. The habitat of mischievous grasshopper is old fields and open
woodlands; in the latter environment it can be quite common at times. It occurs throughout
Florida and the eastern United States except for New England and the Great Lakes region.


Schistocerca obscura
(Fabricius)
Obscure birdwing grasshopper

Identification. Obscure birdwing
grasshopper is green, with olive green
forewings and usually a pale yellow dor-
sal stripe extending from the front of the
head to the tip of the forewings. Occa-
sionally females lack the stripe and in-
Obscure birdwing grasshopper (female) stead bear indistinct brownish spots on
the forewings. The hind tibiae are black-
ish purple with yellow, black-tipped spines. Obscure birdwing grasshopper is a large species;
males measure 36-45 mm in length, females 50-65 mm.
Similar Species. Obscure birdwing grasshopper can be confused with Schistocerca alutacea,
although it usually is considerably larger than this latter species. To distinguish between the two
species, examine the tip of the male abdomen. In S. obscura the notch of the male's subgenital
plate is V-shaped, whereas in S. alutacea it is U-shaped. The large size and V-shaped notch of
the male's subgenital plate serve to distinguish S. obscura from S. alutacea.
Distribution and Ecology. Obscure birdwing grasshopper is found throughout Florida,
and occurs widely in the eastern United States. Preferred habitat is fields and open woodlands.


62








Stenacris vitreipennis (Marschall)
Glassywinged toothpick grasshopper

Identification. This very slender, elongate grasshopper has
a distinctly pointed head and flattened, sword-shaped anten-
nae. Thus, this grasshopper superficially resembles gompho-
cerines, but can be distinguished by the presence of the spur
or spine ventrally behind the head. Glassywinged toothpick
grasshopper is green to brownish green, and usually has a
dark or pale lateral line extending from the eye to the base of
the front legs. The length of the head is shorter than the
pronotum. The length of male grasshoppers is 24-26 mm,
whereas in females it is 27-29 mm.
Similar Species. Stenacris vitreipennis is easily confused
with Leptysma marginicollis (Serville), but in L. marginicollis
the head is as long as, or longer than, the pronotum whereas
in S. vitreipennis the head is shorter than the pronotum. The
antennal segments, although flattened, are not nearly as wide
as in L. marginicollis. Glassywinged toothpick grass-
Distribution and Ecology. Stenacris vitreipennis is known hopper
from throughout Florida except for the Keys, and from most
other southeastern states. The habitat of glassywinged toothpick grasshopper is semiaquatic
vegetation such as cattails and pickerelweed. This species flies readily if disturbed, tending to
alight on emergent vegetation, where it dodges to the side of the plant opposite the source of
disturbance. Thus, in all respects, glassywinged toothpick grasshopper is similar to cattail toothpick
grasshopper, Leptysma marginicollis.


63








Lubber Grasshoppers


Subfamily Romaleinae

This group is sometimes considered to be a separate family, Romaleidae. It differs from the
other subfamilies in having a spine at the tip of the hind tibiae. Lubber grasshoppers bear a
spine ventrally between the front legs, as is found in spurthroated grasshoppers, subfamily
Cyrtacanthacridinae. Lubber grasshoppers are large, colorful, and usually bear short wings.
The shape of the head, though variable, is usually broadly rounded. The hind femora are
enlarged. When disturbed, lubber grasshoppers may hiss and spread their wings. Both the front
wings and hind wings are brightly colored. Only a few species occur in North America, al-
though many are known from South America.
Only one species is known from the eastern United States:
Romalea
R. microptera (Beauvois)
Romalea microptera
(Beauvois)
Eastern lubber grasshopper
Identification. This species is also
sometimes known as Romalea guttata
(Houttuyn). Despite the confusion in the
scientific literature concerning the correct
name, Floridians have little trouble rec-
ognizing this insect. It is undoubtedly the
best-known species of grasshopper in
Eastern lubber grasshopper (female) Florida, and one of the most readily rec-
ognized insects.
The nymphs are mostly black with a narrow median yellow stripe, and red on the head and
front legs. Their color pattern is distinctly different from the adult stage, so they commonly are
mistaken for a different species. Young tend to be gregarious and dispersive. This commonly
brings them into contact with people and gardens, accounting for their familiarity. On occasion
they are abundant enough to damage citrus or vegetables. They commonly seek out and defo-
liate amaryllis and related plants in flower gardens.
Adults are colorful, but the color pattern varies within the state. In northern Florida, southern
lubber is mostly black but well marked with yellow. The lubbers in southern Florida, however,
are mostly yellow but bear red and black markings and red on the forewings. Intermediate
forms also exist. Adults have small wings measuring no more than two-thirds the length of the
abdomen, and are flightless. They attain a large size, males measuring 43-55 mm in length
and females measuring 50-70 mm.
Distribution and Ecology. Eastern lubber grasshopper is found throughout the state, and
is also common in other southeastern states. There is but a single generation annually, but
either nymphs or adults are present throughout most of the year in the southern portions of
Florida, and all except the coldest months in northern Florida. Both sexes stridulate by rubbing
the forewing against the hind wing. When alarmed, lubbers spread their wings, hiss, and se-
crete foul-smelling froth from their spiracles. Lubbers prefer to inhabit low, moist areas of dense
undergrowth including wet hammocks with moderately dense overstory, but as they mature
they disperse widely and can be found in nearly all habitats.
Easter lubber grasshopper has a broad host range. It eats at least 26 species from 15 plant
families containing shrubs, herbs, broadleaf weeds and grasses. It is reported to display prefer-
ence for pokeweed, Phytolaca americana; tread-softly, Cnidoscolus stimmulosus; pickerel weed,
Pontederia cordata; lizard's tail, Saururus sp.; sedge, Cyperus; and arrowhead, Sagittaria spp.
Though the preferred habitat seems to be low, wet areas in pastures and woods and along
ditches, lubbers disperse long distances during the nymphal period. They are gregarious and
flightless, their migrations sometimes bringing large numbers into contact with crops where
they damage vegetables, fruit trees and ornamental plants. Thus, despite an apparent prefer-
ence for moist areas, they can be found in nearly all habitats.


64








-1ther Sources of Information


Blatchley, W.S. 1920. Orthoptera of Northeastern North America. Nature Publishing Com-
pany, Indianapolis. 790 pp.

Capinera, J.L., and T.S. Sechrist. 1982. Grasshoppers (Acrididae) of Colorado: identification,
biology and management. Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 584S. 161 pp.

Chapman, R.E, and A. Joern (editors). 1990. Biology of Grasshoppers. John Wiley, New York.
563 pp.

Dakin, M.E., and K.L. Hays. 1970. A synopsis of Orthoptera (sensu lato) of Alabama. Auburn
University Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 404. 118 pp.

Deyrup, M. 1996. Two new grasshoppers from relict uplands of Florida (Orthoptera: Acrididae).
Transactions of the American Entomological Society 122: 199-211.

Friauf, J.J. 1953. An ecological study of the Dermaptera and Orthoptera of the Welaka area in
northern Florida. Ecological Monographs 23: 79-126.

Hubbell, T.H. 1932. A revision of the Puer group of the North American genus Melanoplus,
with remarks on the taxonomic value of the concealed male genitalia in the
Cyrtacanthacridinae (Orthoptera, Acrididae). University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
Miscellaneous Publication 23. 64 pp.

Helfer, J.R. 1972. How to Know the Grasshoppers, Cockroaches and their Allies. Second edi-
tion. W.C. Brown Company, Dubuque. 359 pp.

Myers, R.L., and J.J. Ewel (editors). 1990. Ecosystems of Florida. University of Central Florida
Press, Orlando. 765 pp.

Otte, D. 1981. The North American Grasshoppers. Volume 1. Acrididae: Gomphocerinae and
Acridinae. Harvard University Press, Cambridge. 275 pp.

Otte, D. 1984. The North American Grasshoppers. Volume 2. Acrididae: Oedipodinae. Harvard
University Press, Cambridge. 366 pp.

Richman, D.B., D.C. Lightfoot, C.A. Sutherland, and D.J. Ferguson. 1993. A manual of the
grasshoppers of New Mexico. Orthoptera: Acrididae and Romaleidae. New Mexico State
University Cooperative Extension Service Handbook No. 7. 112 pp.


65








Checklist of Florida Grasshoppers

Achurum
A. carinatum (F Walker) longheaded toothpick grasshopper
Amblytropidia
A. mysteca (Saussure) brown winter grasshopper
Aptenopedes
A. aptera Scudder wingless Florida grasshopper
A. sphenarioides Scudder linearwinged grasshopper
Arphia
A. granulata (Saussure) southern yellowwinged grasshopper
A. sulphurea (Fabricius) sulfurwinged grasshopper
A. xanthoptera (Burmeister) autumn yellowwinged grasshopper
Chortophaga
C. australior (Rehn and Hebard) southern greenstriped grasshopper
Dichromorpha
D. elegans (Morse) elegant grasshopper
D. viridis (Scudder) shortwinged green grasshopper
Dissosteira
D. carolina (Linnaeus) Carolina grasshopper
Eotettix
E. palustris Morse swamp eastern grasshopper
E. pusillus Morse little eastern grasshopper
E. signatus Scudder handsome Florida grasshopper
Eritettix
E. obscurus (Scudder) obscure slantfaced grasshopper
Gymnoscirtetes
G. morse Hebard Morse's wingless grasshopper
G. pusillus Scudder little wingless grasshopper
Hesperotettix
H. floridensis Morse Florida purplestriped grasshopper
H. osceola Hebard Osceola's grasshopper
H. viridis (Thomas) meadow purplestriped grasshopper
Hippiscus
H. ocelote (Saussure) wrinkled grasshopper
Leptysma
L. marginicollis (Serville) cattail toothpick grasshopper
Melanoplus
M. adelogyrus Hubbell St. Johns' spurthroat grasshopper
M. apalachicolae Hubbell Apalachicola spurthroat grasshopper
M. bispinosus Scudder twospined spurthroat grasshopper
M. davisi (Hebard) Davis' oak grasshopper
M. forcipatus Hubbell toothcercus spurthroat grasshopper
M. furcatus Scudder larger forktailed grasshopper
M. gurneyi Strohecker Gurney's spurthroat grasshopper
M. impudicus Scudder immodest spurthroat grasshopper
M. indicifer Hubbell spinecercus spurthroat grasshopper
M. keeleri (Thomas) Keeler's spurthroat grasshopper
M. nanciae Deyrup Ocala clawcercus grasshopper


66








M. ordwayae Deyrup Trail Ridge scrub grasshopper
M. propinquus Scudder southern redlegged grasshopper
M. puer (Scudder) Florida least spurthroat grasshopper
M. punctulatus Scudder pinetree spurthroat grasshopper
M. pygmaeus Davis pygmy spurthroat grasshopper
M. querneus Rehn and Hebard oak spurthroat grasshopper
M. rotundipennis Scudder roundwinged spurthroat grasshopper
M. sanguinipes (Fabricius) migratory grasshopper
M. scapularis Rehn and Hebard lesser forktailed grasshopper
M. scudderi (Uhler) Scudder's spurthroat grasshopper
M. withlacoocheensis Squitier and Deyrup Withlacoochee grasshopper
M. strumosus Morse swollen spurthroat grasshopper
M. symmetricus Morse symmetrical spurthroat grasshopper
M. tepidus Morse southern obovatewinged grasshopper
M. tequestae Hubbell Tequesta spurthroat grasshopper
Mermeria
M. bivittata (Serville) twostriped mermiria grasshopper
M. intertexta Scudder eastern mermeria grasshopper
M. picta (F Walker) lively mermeria grasshopper
Metaleptea
M. brevicornis (Johannson) clippedwing grasshopper
Orphulella
0. pelidna (Burmeister) spottedwinged grasshopper
Pardalophora
P. phoenicoptera (Burmeister) orangewinged grasshopper
Paroxya
P. atlantica Scudder Atlantic grasshopper
P. clavuliger (Serville) olivegreen swamp grasshopper
Psinidia
P. fenestralis (Serville) longhorn bandedwinged grasshopper
Romalea
R. microptera (Beauvois) eastern lubber grasshopper
Schistocerca
S. alutacea (Harris) rusty grasshopper
S. americana (Drury) American grasshopper
S. ceratiola Hubbell and Walker rosemary grasshopper
S. damnifica (Saussure) mischievous grasshopper
S. obscura (Fabricius) obscure birdwing grasshopper
Spharagemon
S. bolli Scudder Boll's grasshopper
S. crepitans (Saussure) crepitating grasshopper
S. cristatum (Scudder) ridgeback sand grasshopper
S. marmorata (Scudder) marbled grasshopper
Stenacris
S. vitreipennis (Marschall) glassywinged toothpick grasshopper
Syrbula
S. admirabilis (Uhler) handsome grasshopper
Trimerotropis
T maritima (Harris) seaside grasshopper


67








9- glossary


abdomen the third or posterior division of the insect body, the other divisions being the head
and thorax
annual herb that lives for only one growing season
antenna (pl. antennae) paired, elongate sensory structures located on the head
anterior referring to the front or forward position
biennial herb that lives for two growing seasons, with vegetative growth in the first season
and reproduction in the second season
biodiversity the diversity of life forms in an ecosystem, usually based on species richness
broadleaf a plant with a flat, wide leaf structure
carina (pl. carinae) an elevated, longitudinal ridge on the pronotum
cercus (pl. cerci) paired appendages near the posterior end of the abdomen
crepitation crackling sound produced during flight by rubbing the under surface of the
forewings against the veins of the hindwings
dorsal referring to the upper surface, which in grasshoppers is the "back"
endemic sometimes used to indicate species that are native to an area and found nowhere
else; precinctive
exotic not naturally found in an area; alien
femur (pl. femora) the third and stoutest segment of the leg; the "thigh"
forb a broadleaf herb
forewing the front pair of wings, closest to the head, and usually covering the hindwings
when the insect is not in flight
frontal costa a broad, flat ridge on the face of the grasshopper, also called frontal ridge
frontal ridge a broad, flat ridge or elevated region on the front of the head, extending from
the eyes to above the mouth
furcula a forked process at the posterior of male grasshoppers that overlays the supra-anal
plate; only the processes are visible, so it appears to be paired structures
grass common name for plants in the family Graminae; monocotyledenous plants
hammock a forested area that is dominated by broadleaf trees
head the forward, or anterior, division of the body, followed by the thorax and abdomen
herb nonwoody, short-lived plant
herbivore a plant-feeding animal
hindwings the second pair or posterior pair of wings; in grasshoppers capable of flight, these
are the larger wings, but they fold and are hidden beneath the forewings when the grasshop-
per is at rest
horizontal oriented in a plane parallel to the horizon, or along the length of the body
instar the stage of the grasshopper between molts; this term is applied to nymphal grass
hoppers, usually in combination with a number to indicate whether it is early in develop-
ment (e.g, 1st instar) or late (e.g, 5th instar)
lateral relating to the side
leg appendage associated with the thorax and used for terrestrial locomotion
mesic a moist but not wet environment
metamorphosis change in body form (e.g., change from a caterpillar to a moth)


68








molt to cast off the outgrown exterior body covering, a process that occurs between instars
nutrient cycling the movement of nutrients, usually mineral in nature, among trophic levels
nymph the young of grasshoppers; immature insects that resemble the adult in body form,
differing principally in wing development and reproductive capabilities
pallium an erect conical structure at the tip of the supra-anal plate
posterior referring to the back or rear position
precinctive native or endemic species, not known to occur elsewhere
pronotum the upper, or dorsal, section of the prothorax, the first of the three abdominal
segments; in grasshoppers the pronotum largely hides the mesonotum and metanotum
prosternal spine a small spur or spine located ventrally on the first thoracic segment; a
spine protruding from between the front legs, especially in the subfamily Cyrtacanthacridinae
prothorax the first, or anterior, segment of the three thoracic segments
shrub a woody plant, typically with several major stems
species groups of actually or potentially interbreeding populations that are reproductively
isolated from other groups
speciation the evolution of species
stridulation creaking sound that grasshoppers produce while not in flight by rubbing the
inner surface of the hind femur on the edges of the forewing
spine elongate, pointed structure; in cyrtacanthacridine or "spurthroated" grasshoppers a
large spine or spur called the prosternal spine is present between, or slightly in front of, the
front legs, but it is sometimes reduced to a bluntly rounded elevation; small but sharply
pointed spines also occur in rows along the tibiae
spur see "spine" above
subgenital plate a plate at the tip of the abdomen that covers the genital area from below;
it tends to be curved upward and scoop-shaped
supra-anal plate a plate at the tip of the abdomen that covers the genital area from above;
it is flat and triangular or shield-shaped
sword-shaped antenna antenna with flattened segments, widening from the base and then
narrowing toward the tip
tarsus (pl. tarsi) the distal segment of the leg, the "foot"
tegmen (pl. tegmina) the thickened forewings
thorax the second, or middle, of the three major body divisions
tibia (pl. tibiae) the long, thin fourth segment of the leg, between the femur and tarsus
tree a woody plant, typically with one major stem
tympanum (pl. tympana) a tightly stretched membrane covering the auditory organ, and
located on the side of the abdomen
ovipositor the structures located at the tip of the abdomen in females and used to deposit
eggs
perennial a plant living several years, not dying soon after reproduction
wing pad the partly developed wings located at the juncture of the thorax and abdomen
vertical oriented up and down
ventral refers to the underside, or below
xeric a very dry environment


69









Jndex


A
Achurum carinatum 21
adelogyrus, Melanoplus 44
admirabilis, Syrbula 25
alutacea, Schistocerca 60
Amblytropidia mysteca 21
American grasshopper 61
americana, Schistocerca 61
Apalachicola spurthroat grasshopper 44
apalachicolae, Melanoplus 44
Aptenopedes aptera 39
Aptenopedes sphenarioides 39
aptera, Aptenopedes 39
Arphia granulata 29
Arphia sulphurea 29
Arphia xanthoptera 30
Atlantic grasshopper 59
atlantica, Paroxya 59
australior, Chortophaga 30
autumn yellowwinged grasshopper 30

B
bispinosus, Melanoplus 45
biodiversity 6
biological control of grasshoppers 12
bivittata, Mermiria 23
bolli, Spharagemon 33
Boll's grasshopper 33
brevicornis, Metaleptea 27
brown winter grasshopper 21

C
carinatum, Achurum 21
carolina, Dissosteira 31
Carolina grasshopper 31
cattail toothpick grasshopper 43
ceratiola, Schistocerca 61
chemical control of grasshoppers 13
Chortophaga australior 30
clavuliger, Paroxya 59
clippedwing grasshopper 27
collection of grasshoppers 15
control of grasshoppers 12
crepitating grasshopper 34
cultural approaches to grasshopper management 13
crepitans, Spharagemon 34
cristatum, Spharagemon 34

D
damnifica, Schistocerca 62
Davis' oak grasshopper 45
davisi, Melanoplus 45
Dichromorpha elegans 22
Dichromorpha viridis 22
Dissosteira carolina 31

E
eastern lubber grasshopper 64
eastern mermiria grasshopper 24
eggs of grasshoppers 4
elegans, Dichromorpha 22
elegant grasshopper 22
endemic species of grasshoppers 6
Eotettix palustris 40
Eotettix pusillus 40
Eotettix signatus 40
Eritettix obscurus 23
exotic species of grasshoppers 6


F
fenestralis, Psinidia 33
Florida least spurthroat grasshopper 51
Florida purplestriped grasshopper 42
floridensis, Hesperotettix 42
forcipatus, Melanoplus 46
furcatus, Melanoplus 47

G
glassywinged toothpick grasshopper 63
granulata, Arphia 29
gurneyi, Melanoplus 47
Gurney's spurthroat grasshopper 47
Gymnoscirtetes morse 41
Gymnoscirtetes pusillus 41

H
habitats of grasshoppers 7
handsome Florida grasshopper 40
handsome grasshopper 25
Hesperotettix floridensis 42
Hesperotettix osceola 42
Hesperotettix viridis 43
Hippiscus ocelote 31

I
identification of grasshoppers 17
immodest spurthroat grasshopper 48
impudicus, Melanoplus 48
indicifer, Melanoplus 48
insecticides 13
intertexta, Mermiria 24
introduced species of grasshoppers 6

K
keeleri, Melanoplus 49
Keeler's spurthroat grasshopper 49

L


larger forktailed grasshopper 47
Leptysma marginicollis 43
lesser forktailed grasshopper 54
life cycle of grasshoppers 4
linearwinged grasshopper 39
little eastern grasshopper 40
little wingless grasshopper 41
lively mermiria grasshopper 24
longheaded toothpick grasshopper
longhorn bandwinged grasshopper


21
33


M
management of grasshoppers 12
marbled grasshopper 35
maritima, Trimerotropis 36
marginicollis, Leptysma 43
marmorata, Spharagemon 35
meadow purplestriped grasshopper 43
Melanoplus adelogyrus 44
Melanoplus apalachicolae 44
Melanoplus bispinosus 45
Melanoplus davisi 45
Melanoplus forcipatus 46
Melanoplus furcatus 47
Melanoplus gurneyi 47
Melanoplus impudicus 48
Melanoplus indicifer 48


70









Melanoplus keeleri 49
Melanoplus nanciae 49
Melanoplus ordwayae 50
Melanoplus propinquus 50
Melanoplus puer 51
Melanoplus punctulatus 52
Melanoplus pygmaeus 52
Melanoplus querneus 53
Melanoplus rotundipennis 53
Melanoplus sanguinipes 54
Melanoplus scapularis 54
Melanoplus scudderi 55
Melanoplus strumosus 56
Melanoplus symmetricus 56
Melanoplus tepidus 57
Melanoplus tequestae 57
Melanoplus withlacoocheensis 58
Mermiria bivittata 23
Mermiria intertexta 24
Mermiria picta 24
Metaleptea brevicornis 27
microptera, Romalea 64
migratory grasshopper 54
mischievous grasshopper 62
morphology of grasshoppers 2
morse, Gymnoscirtetes 41
Morse's wingless grasshopper 41
mysteca, Amblytropidia 21

N
nanciae, Melanoplus 49
nymphs of grasshoppers 4, 5

0
oak spurthroat grasshopper 53
obscure, Schistocerca 62
obscure birdwing grasshopper 62
obscure slantfaced grasshopper 24
obscurus, Eritettix 23
Ocala clawcercus grasshopper 49
ocelote, Hippiscus 31
olivegreen swamp grasshopper 59
orangewinged grasshopper 32
ordwayae, Melanoplus 50
Orphulella pelidna 25
osceola, Hesperotettix 42
Osceola's grasshopper 42

P
palustris, Eotettix 40
Pardalophora phoenicoptera 32
Paroxya atlantica 59
Paroxya clavuliger 59
pelidna, Orphulella 25
pests, grasshopper 12
physical barriers for grasshoppers 12
phoenicoptera, Pardalophora 32
picta, Mermiria 24
pinetree spurthroat grasshopper 52
precinctive species of grasshoppers 6
preservation of grasshoppers 15
propinquus, Melanoplus 50
Psinidia fenestralis 33
puer, Melanoplus 51
punctulatus, Melanoplus 52
pusillus, Eotettix 40
pusillus, Gymnoscirtetes 41
pygmaeus, Melanoplus 52
pygmy spurthroat grasshopper 52

Q
querneus, Melanoplus 53


R
ridgeback sand grasshopper 34
role of grasshoppers in ecosystems 5
Romalea microptera 64
rosemary grasshopper 61
rotundipennis, Melanoplus 53
roundwinged spurthroat grasshopper 53
rusty grasshopper 60

S
sanguinipes, Melanoplus 54
scapularis, Melanoplus 54
Schistocerca alutacea 60
Schistocerca americana 61
Schistocerca ceratiola 61
Schistocerca damnifica 62
Schistocerca obscure 62
scudderi, Melanoplus 55
Scudder's spurthroat grasshopper 55
seaside grasshopper 36
shortwinged green grasshopper 22
signatus, Eotettix 40
southern greenstriped grasshopper 30
southern obovatewinged grasshopper 57
southern redlegged grasshopper 50
southern yellowwinged grasshopper 29
species concept 13
Spharagemon bolli 33
Spharagemon crepitans 34
Spharagemon cristatum 34
Spharagemon marmorata 35
sphenarioides, Aptenopedes 39
spinecercus spurthroat grasshopper 48
spottedwinged grasshopper 25
Stenacris vitreipennis 63
St. Johns' spurthroat grasshopper 44
strumosus, Melanoplus 56
sulfurwinged grasshopper 29
sulphurea, Arphia 29
swamp eastern grasshopper 40
swollen spurthroat grasshopper 56
symmetrical spurthroat grasshopper 56
symmetricus, Melanoplus 56
Syrbula admirabilis 25

T
tepidus, Melanoplus 57
Tequesta spurthroat grasshopper 57
tequestae, Melanoplus 57
toothcercus spurthroat grasshopper 46
Trail Ridge scrub grasshopper 50
Trimerotropis maritima 36
twospined spurthroat grasshopper 45
twostriped mermiria grasshopper 23

V
viridis, Dichromorpha 22
viridis, Hesperotettix 43
vitreipennis, Stenacris 63

W
Withlacoochee grasshopper 58
withlacoocheensis, Melanoplus 58
wingless Florida grasshopper 39
wrinkled grasshopper 31

X
xanthoptera, Arphia 30


71






Ilorida Maps
These two maps can help you learn Florida grasshopper distribution as you read the section
"Synopsis of Florida Grasshopper Species."


North
A




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