Subject: Grasshopper? In Los Angeles?
Location: West Los Angeles
January 1, 2013 5:38 pm
Growing up in Wisconsin, grasshoppers were a common sight, but I haven’t seen them here in LA. I wonder if it’s a consequence of global warming and the humidity we experienced last summer.
Should we be concerned for our gardens?
Signature: Jeff Bremer
We do have native Grasshoppers in the Los Angeles area, and some like the Gray Bird Grasshopper are quite large, however the insect in your photos is a Bush Katydid in the genus Scudderia. Katydids and Grasshoppers are in the same insect order, and they look very similar. The easiest way to distinguish them from one another is the antennae. Katydids are longhorned Orthopterans will long antennae and Grasshoppers have much shorter antennae. We believe this is a Fork Tailed Bush Katydid, Scudderia furcata. Most Bush Katydids are green, but there is a photo of a brown individual on BugGuide. See BugGuide for additional information on the Bush Katydids. Like Grasshoppers, Katydids feed on plants, but unlike Grasshoppers, Katydids do not form great masses of individuals that eat everything in their path like the infamous plagues of locusts. We allow Katydids to live in our Mount Washington, Los Angeles garden. They love feeding on the petals of roses, but they don’t really damage the plants much. Your individual is a female as evidenced by the sickle shaped ovipositor at the tip of the abdomen.