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Genus Schistocerca - Bird Grasshoppers

Coolest Grasshoper I've seen in the wild... - Schistocerca obscura - male Schistocerca - Schistocerca lineata - female Green Bird Munching Salt Cedar - Schistocerca shoshone - female What type of bird grasshopper is this? - Schistocerca obscura - female 21907 - Schistocerca damnifica - male Transformer - Schistocerca obscura Grasshopper ID Request - Schistocerca americana - female grasshopper - Schistocerca - female
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids)
Suborder Caelifera (Grasshoppers)
Family Acrididae (Short-horned Grasshoppers)
Subfamily Cyrtacanthacridinae (Bird Grasshoppers)
Genus Schistocerca (Bird Grasshoppers)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Acridiumsubgenus Schistocerca Stål, 1873. Type species: Acrydium americanum (Drury) S.H.Scudder [by later designation of J.A.G. Rehn in 1904]
Explanation of Names
From Greek skhistos (σχιστος)- "split or divided" + kerkos (κερκος)- "tail" (but in insect names normally referring to specific structures sticking out of the tail called cerci- singular cercus), with the feminine ending -a added
Numbers
Nearctica (1) lists 8 species.
The Shistocerca Information Site (see taxonomy) lists ten valid species for North America, has notes on taxonomic issues.
About 50 species worldwide, all but Schistocerca gregaria in New World (Song, 2004).
Identification
Prosternal process present, mesosternal lobes longer than wide.

Range
Widespread
Food
A wide variety of plant matter
Remarks
The locust of the biblical plagues (well-known and dreaded throughout the Middle East and Europe in ancient times) is the only Old World member of this genus, Schistocerca gregaria (Song, 2004). North American species are much less prone to swarming behavior.

Note: that some species are very closely related, vary greatly in color and pattern, and can be very similar in appearance. Some images posted on BugGuide may be misidentified, despite being placed in what seems the species that "fits best", because sometimes it is impossible to be 100% sure of an identification without actually examining specimens in person. This is especially true of those in the "Alutacea Group" (S. albolineata, alutacea, lineata, obscura, rubiginosa, & shoshone).
Print References
Capinera, et al., Field Guide to Grasshoppers... (2)
Song, Hojun. Revision of the Alutacea Group of Genus Schistocerca (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Cyrtacanthacridinae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 97(3):420-436 (2004) (PDF)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Nearctica: Nomina Insecta Nearctica
2.Field Guide To Grasshoppers, Katydids, And Crickets Of The United States
John L. Capinera, Ralph D. Scott, Thomas J. Walker. 2004. Cornell University Press.