GRASSHOPPERS and their kin (Orthoptera Order, Caelifera Sub.)
Note: This page is under construction. Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Sources: a new website of great value is Singing Insects of North America, by Thomas Walker and Thomas Moore, which focuses on Katydids, Crickets, and Cicadas, but also shows how to distinguish this other Sub-Order of Orthoptera from the Caelifera. Click on that link. Also, click on Fieldguide to Common Western Grasshoppers for a valuable general guide to grasshoppers of Western North America..
Grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, katydids and their kin in the Order Orthoptera are distinguished primarily by their long hind legs modified for jumping. Most of them can make noise by rubbing together specialized organs on either legs or wings (signals used in courtship etc.), and they have mouth parts modified for chewing various kinds of plants. Grasshoppers and Locusts differ from the others by having antennae shorter than body length.
GRASSHOPPERS and their kin
We begin here simply listing images of grasshoppers we have photographed on our lands. Identifications will come later.
(Click on each image to enlarge.)
This grasshopper, below, known in the popular parlance of old as the "Mexican General", is one of our most spectacular grasshoppers, so colorful that Creationists have cited it as evidence against the theory of evolution -- "Only an imaginative Creator could have made these color combinations." (Of course, distinctive color patterns like these are hardly unusual in the insect world, or the bird world, etc.) (Click on these images to enlarge them.)
Note in particular the string of whitish crescents running along the base of the abdomen (visible only in the top photo), the orange stripe running along the top of the carapace, the yellow banding around the base of the carapace, and the orange beads along the black antennae.
(See also banner photo at top of page)
Below: lower Pool Wash, October 2005
Below: Lower Hot Springs Canyon, October 2006
This grasshopper has a lateral line and leg stripes whose color approximates that of the canvas on which it sits. Note the contrasting color of the antennae. (Click on each image to enlarge it.)