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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Species Schistocerca americana - American Bird Grasshopper

On Seagrape Leaf - Schistocerca americana - female Florida Grasshopper - Schistocerca americana - female American Bird Grasshopper - Schistocerca americana - female Big Grasshopper - Schistocerca americana - male Bird grasshopper - Schistocerca americana - male American bird grasshopper - Schistocerca americana - male grasshopper, American or Gray Bird ? - Schistocerca americana Large Grasshopper - shades of brown - Schistocerca americana - female
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)
Species americana (American Bird Grasshopper)
Other Common Names
American Grasshopper, American Locust
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Schistocerca americana (Drury, 1773)
40-70 mm
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.
Eastern, central North America, south into Mexico and into South America. Somewhat migratory, in northern part of range may be immigrant only, not breeding.
Fields, open woodlands
Typically April-June and August-September. Adults overwinter, so sometimes seen late into fall and on warm winter days. July-November (Michigan).
Herbivore, feeds on a variety of grasses, forbs (non-grass herbs), and foliage of woody plants. It can be a pest of crops.
Life Cycle
Unusual two generations per year: spring and early summer, plus late summer. Broods may overlap, however. (Some sources say there is a single, long-lived brood, with some overlap of generations in late summer.) Under favorable conditions, becomes gregarious, disperses in swarms.
Print References
Capinera et al., Grasshoppers of Florida, pp. 121-122, plates 96-97 (1)
Capinera et al., Field Guide to Grasshoppers..., pp. 144-145, plate 31 (2)
Helfer, p. 186, fig. 301 (3)
Bland, p. 76 (4)
Milne, p. 425, fig. 263 (5)
Brimley, p. 25 (6)
Internet References
Univ. Florida--another version of above document?
Works Cited
1.Grasshoppers of Florida (Invertebrates of Florida)
John L. Capinera, Clay W. Scherer, Jason M. Squiter, Jason M. Squitier. 2002. University Press of Florida.
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.
3.How to Know the Grasshoppers, Cockroaches, and Their Allies
Jacques R. Helfer. 1962. Wm. C. Brown Company.
4.Orthoptera of Michigan
Roger Bland. 2003. Michigan State University Exttension.
5.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.
6.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.