Short-horned Grasshopper
( Acrididae )


2012-1001-43110003-ORT00491-Acrididae[1330h00s,L,A,pinned]{EStrand}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Acrididae
(MacLeay, 1819)
Common Name:Short-horned Grasshopper
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Polyneoptera
Order:Orthoptera
Suborder:Caelifera
Family:Acrididae
Taxon Code:ORT00491
ITIS TSN#:102195

LOCATION DETAILS
Location
Palo Alto Animal Services, Palo Alto, Palo Alto
County:Santa Clara County
ECI Site#:CA43110000

RECOGNITION
Variable coloring with some brightly colored species. Wings: Usually well-developed, but may be short or absent in some groups. Wing length is variable, even within a single species. Pronotum: Does not extend beyond the base of the wings. Antennae: Short, typically about one-half the body length, and with less than 30 segments. Tympana: When present, are on the sides of the first abdominal segment. Legs: Hind femora are greatly enlarged for jumping, typically about as long as hind wings. Tarsi are all 3-segmented. Ovipositor: Short and stout.
Body Length
9-80 mm, with most 15-30 mm.
Similar Taxa
Lubber Grasshoppers (Romaleidae); Pygmy Grasshoppers (Tetrigidae)

BIOLOGY
Food
Typically phytophagous, feeding on the foliage of forbs and grasses. Some feed on a variety of plants, while others are restricted to a few species of closely related plants. Dry plant matter from the ground is not fed upon. Some will scavenge dead or dying grasshoppers when plant food is scarce.
Active Period
Spring to fall in temperate areas. Some species are present all year in southern California.
Development
Some species have fairly elaborate courtship, and mating may take up to an hour. Males may stay atop females for more than a day in a behavior known as "mate guarding." Females oviposit in loose soil (typically), among plant roots, in rotting wood, and even in dung. Clutches contain 10-60 eggs, and up to 25 clutches may be laid over several weeks. Oviposition typically occurs in late summer, and eggs hatch in Spring. Life cycle is typically one year. A few species overwinter as juveniles.
Importance
Members of this family are historical devastators of crops in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Range
All of North America.

HABITAT
Vegetated areas or open space, including on asphalt-covered parking lots or similar areas. Most species occur in grasslands, but some in forests, tundra and aquatic vegetation.

CREDITS
Photographer
Erica Strand

REFERENCES
  • Family Acrididae - Short-horned Grasshoppers (http://bugguide.net/node/view/155). Accessed January 30, 2016. [ IMAGES ]
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System TSN#102195


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