Subject: Odd Moth in Maryland
Location: Central Maryland, USA
August 25, 2013 11:04 am
Bugman, this odd looking moth-like bug looks like a mix between two bug types. Thought it may be a adult antlion but couldn’t find anything like it in my books or on your great web site. I’ve not seen anything like it before-any insights?
Signature: Roger S.
This is a Band-Winged Grasshopper in the subfamily Oedipodinae. According to BugGuide: “Most species of this subfamily, as implied by the common name, have a dark band crossing the hind wing somewhere between the middle and outer margin, most have the basal part (or “disc”) of the wing colored. A few species have entirely dark or clear hind wings. The relative placement and shape of the dark band, as well as the color of the base is often of great help in identifying the species. The pronotum usually has a median ridge, and sometimes aditional lateral ridges, that vary in height and whether cut or not (and in how many times cut). Many make crackling, buzzing, or ticking sounds when they fly (crepitate). ” The Band-Winged Grasshoppers are camouflaged against the dirt and dried vegetation when they are at rest. Upon flying, they flash their banded hindwings which are then hidden again when they alight. Any predator is searching for the brightly colored meal it spotted, but the resting Band-Winged Grasshopper is safe as long as it doesn’t take flight again.
Daniel, thank you for the quick and thorough response. I would never have guessed it was a grasshopper the way it had the wings spread out! Guess it was on its last legs in life and thus was laying flat. Thanks for posting my picture onto the site, looks like a great addition to all of your wonderful reference pictures already there.