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Species Tettigidea lateralis - Black-sided Pygmy Grasshopper

Black-sided Pygmy Grasshopper - Tettigidea lateralis - female Pygmy Grasshopper--Ovipositing? - Tettigidea lateralis Black-sided Pygmy Grasshopper - Tettigidea lateralis - female Black-sided Pygmy? - Tettigidea lateralis - male March Pygmy - Tettigidea lateralis - female Pygmy Grasshopper - Tettigidea lateralis - female Tettigidea armata? - Tettigidea lateralis Tettigidea lateralis - female
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids)
Suborder Caelifera (Grasshoppers)
Family Tetrigidae (Pygmy Grasshoppers)
Subfamily Batrachideinae
Genus Tettigidea
Species lateralis (Black-sided Pygmy Grasshopper)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Tettigidea lateralis (Say, 1824). Synonyms, etc.:
Tettigidea laterale (spelling)
Size
9-16 mm, a bit larger than most others in this family. (1) Another reference (2) reports males as 8-11 mm, females 12-14 mm.
Identification
Eyes prominent. Pronotum rounded, extends over head. Tends to extend to tip of abdomen in southern populations, but is shorter in northern. Variably black, gray, brown, or cream. Often dark-sided with wide creamy band on top. Lower face of female is usually dark, that of male is usually a creamy white. (2) Hind femur often has a light spot. Compare front margin of the pronotum to differentiate from T. armata, similar, and found in moist habitats. In T. lateralis front margin is rather rounded. In T. armata it is spined. See Bland, p. 58, figs. 14D, 14E (3) and Helfer, p. 91, fig. 156. (1)

Compare also such widespread species as Nomotetrix cristatus. Pronotum has front margin acutely angled, and is strongly arched. That species is found mostly in dry habitats, and is also smaller, under 1 cm.
Range
Eastern and central North America (including southern Canada) west to Arizona and Colorado. Also south into Mexico and Central America.
Habitat
Found in both dry and wet habitats: sand dunes, swamps, deciduous and coniferous forests.
Season
All year (North Carolina), all year, except coldest months (Michigan). Perhaps not seen as an adult in mid-summer, e.g., see Insects of Cedar Creek
Food
Herbivores
Life Cycle
Sometimes occurs in migratory swarms. Has long and short-winged forms. One generation per year in north, two in south.
Remarks
Apparently one of the most widespread and commonly found members of the genus.
Print References
Bland, p. 131, p. 58, fig. 14 (3)
Brimley, p. 28--T. laterale, "state-wide, whole season" (4)
Capinera p. 151, plate 33 (2)
Helfer, pp. 92-93, figs 156, 157 (1)
Marshall, photos 90.3-4 (5)
Internet References
Insects of Cedar Creek--long-winged form
North Carolina State University Entomology Collection (179 pinned--most frequently collected of genus)
Works Cited
1.How to Know the Grasshoppers, Cockroaches, and Their Allies
Jacques R. Helfer. 1962. Wm. C. Brown Company.
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.Orthoptera of Michigan
Roger Bland. 2003. Michigan State University Extension.
4.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
5.Insects: Their Natural History And Diversity: With a Photographic Guide to Insects of Eastern North America
Stephen A. Marshall. 2006. Firefly Books Ltd.