We saw this while on a hike through The Pinnacles National Monument (mid-California, near King City -think dry & rocky but shrubby) – haven’t been able to ID it. Can you help?
What a colorful addition to our site. We did some unsuccessful searching and are ready to call in the big guns. We are writing to Eric Eaton and hope to hear back soon. Eric Eaton had this to say: ” The grasshopper is quite perplexing! I’d say it is probably a species of Arphia (the almost crest-like thorax suggests that, anyway). That said, I’d be interested in a second opinion, maybe from my friend Dave Lightfoot over at U of New Mexico. He’s very good with western orthopterans.”
A Possible Identification
(05/05/2006) Mystery Grasshoppers
The Mystery Grasshopper from Pinnacles National Monument looks a lot like Chortophaga viridifasciata (Northern Green-striped Grasshopper). Bug Guide has some really close pictures to the mystery hopper, but I don’t know if C. viridifasciata’s range extends into California. But the pink coloration seems dead-on to me.
Eric Eaton Responds:
” I thought of that also, but Chortophaga does not range into California as I recall, plus I have never seen a specimen with spotting on the wings as the Pinnacle Peak specimen has, towards the tips. That might also rule out Arphia now that I think of it! If I stumble upon a definitive answer, I’ll let you know.” Eric wrote in a second time several days later: ” Ok, I may have an answer for the “old” mystery hopper from Pinnacle National Monument in California, too: The painted meadow grasshopper, Chimarocephala pacific, seems to fit the distribution, season, and color pattern reasonably well. I haven’t look up images on the ‘net yet, but the field guide I am consulting says it is easily confused with the green-striped grasshopper that another person offered as a potential suspect. Eric”