What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: West Texas Grasshopper
Location: El Paso, Texas
October 27, 2014 4:05 pm
Greetings bugman!
I am a Park Ranger for Texas Parks & Wildlife in El Paso, Texas. The other day I was walking through our park and found this beauty. I thought it might be some species of short-horned grasshopper, but I will admit that my entomology knowledge isn’t what it should be.
This specimen is roughly 3-4 inches long and was hanging out in a semi-marshy/overgrown area. Any idea what it is?
Thank you for your time!
Signature: Entomology Challenged Park Ranger

Bird Grasshopper

Bird Grasshopper

Dear Entomology Challenged Park Ranger,
We believe your Bird Grasshopper in the genus
Schistocerca is most likely an American Bird Grasshopper, Schistocerca americana, based on this image posted to BugGuideAccording to BugGuide:  “Large, usually has creamy strip extending from head to forewings. Characteristically flies up and into trees when disturbed, behavior quite different from most other grasshoppers.”  Do you have an additional image from above that shows the top of the head?  We could confirm its identity if the “creamy strip” is visible.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: El Paso, Texas

3 Responses to Bird Grasshopper

  1. Steve says:

    Seems to be Shistocerca nitens, the Gray Bird Grasshopper rather than americana. S. americana is more abundant in the eastern US and is more lightly colored and patterned, while S. nitens lives in the southwest and is more darkly colored with fewer contrasting patterns.

  2. SJC says:

    Living in Southern California, the other first poster is correct.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *