Thursday, February 19, 2009


Here are a couple grasshoppers common in California. An unfortunate side effect of preserving grasshoppers is that they tend to discolor and become more orange than they were when first caught. For newly collected insects, I will try to photograph them while they are still alive, to preserve their color. The same goes for Katydids, who become a duller green after they are collected.

Orthoptera; Caelifera; Acrididae; Oedipodinae; Trimerotropis pallidipennis
Common Name: Pallid-Winged Grasshopper

These grasshoppers are of the family Acrididae, or Short-Horned Grasshoppers, which includes the swarming locust variety. They are a distinct family for having relatively short antennae and tympana (or sound organ) on the side of the first abdominal segment. They are extremely common in California, and tend to have a mottled, variable color - some are extremely dark, others extremely light. These two specimens are approximately 1.5 to 2 inches long, found in San Diego. The subfamily, Oedipodinae, refers to "band-winged grasshoppers," based on the color bands on the wings. The distinguishing characteristic for the genus, Trimerotropis, is that the front wings have dark markings, and the ridge on the posterior half of the thorax is faint or absent.

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