Pygmy Mole Cricket

Front wings (dorsal)

fitted for digging. Front and middle tarsi 2-segmented, hind tarsi 1-segmented or lacking. Antennae 11-segmented. Body not pubescent.

These insects occur chiefly in moist sandy situations along shores of ponds and streams. They burrow in the ground but are sometimes found on the surface. They are not common.


Identification: Pronotum extends back over abdomen and is pointed posteriorly. Hind tarsi 3-segmented, other tarsi 2-seg-mented. Tegmina (FW) very short. 18 mm. or less.

Pygmy grasshoppers overwinter as adults and are most often encountered in spring and early summer. They are moderately common but are not of much economic importance.


Family Acrididae

Identification: Pronotum not prolonged back over abdomen. Wings usually well developed. Tarsi 3-segmented.

This group contains our most common grasshoppers. Many are important pests of cultivated plants. Most of them oviposit in the ground and overwinter in the egg stage.

Spur-throated Grasshoppers, Subfamily Cyrtacanthacridinae (see also PI. 2). Spine or tubercle on prosternum. Pronotum flat dor sally and broadly rounded posteriorly. Face usually vertical. HW generally clear. This group contains many common species, including most of the pests. A few species sometimes increase to epidemic proportions and migrate long distances; these migrating swarms contain millions of grasshoppers and cause enormous damage.

Slant-faced Grasshoppers, Subfamily Acridinae. Similar to Cyrtacanthacridinae but with face slanting backward and without prosternal spine. Often occur in wet meadows or near marshes. Less abundant than other Acrididae.

Band-winged Grasshoppers, Subfamily Oedipodinae (see also Pl. 2). HW usually colored. A median longitudinal keel on pronotum. Posterior margin of pronotum triangularly extended backward. Face vertical or nearly so. Bandwings are often very common in sparse vegetation and along roadsides. They are conspicuous in flight because of color of the hind wings and the crackling noises they sometimes make but very inconspicuous when they alight, because the hind wings are concealed and the front wings are usually colored like the background.


Families Eumastacidae and Tanaoceridae

Identification: Similar to Acrididae but wingless. Medium-sized to small, usually brownish. Tympana generally absent.

Melanoplus prosternum pronotum (dorsal) ,

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