Gray Bird Grasshopper, Eggs and Nymphs

CA large grasshopper
We live in Los Angeles, CA. My husband caught this grasshopper for our boys to look at in September. We got more than we bargained for as it layed eggs the first night. Six weeks later they ALL hatched. I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of grasshopper it is, but haven’t found an exact match. I’ve attached a photo of the mother who was close to 4 inches long, as well as the egg sac, and nyphs.

Hi Jenny,
What a wonderful letter. We generally try to scan letters that come in on a given day before deciding what to post, but on occasion, there is a letter so special that we just immediately post it. Your grasshopper is a Gray Bird Grasshopper, Schistocerca nitens, a common species in the Los Angeles area. According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, the adults are generally found in the spring. The large female Gray Bird Grasshoppers are about twice as large as the males. The nymphs are bright green. Both nymphs and adults feed on the leaves of crops and ornamental garden plants.

3 thoughts on “Gray Bird Grasshopper, Eggs and Nymphs”

  1. Hi, bnew here, been looking at this site a number of but never really noticed the comment function. Anyway, Daniel, Lise, whoever, you are right. I too, be common in the Los Angeles area..:) [see some of those every other day]…C.L.Hogue was part right, two generations a year, with adults usually appearing in the spring and fall, though I’ve seen summer adults as well. Even saw one of those at Disneyland, where I usually don’t see many hoppers [real ones] big birds. Hogue points out these are immensely large [YouTube has a number of videos, usually without naming the species..Grasshopper freakout, chihuahua and hoppers] , the females especially, and they are like big birds when they fly [cue Nelly Furtado.].BTW I too notice the mothl;y slip a new moths I mean months I mean minutes ago. And I like the name of the site, too.

  2. I have a number of these guys in my back yard ( Tucson ,Az). My wife, our son and I have a good time watching these guys grow and shed. But lately we are noticing a disturbing feature. We are finding hanging from branches, turned yellow with maggots inside of them. What is laying these maggots? At first we thought they had died and then they were laid but now we know this isn’t the case, we just found one and that we saw yesterday looking a little pale yellow and now dead today.

    • We are not sure if there is a Tachinid Fly or other parasitoid fly that uses Grasshoppers as a host. We will attempt to research this matter.


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