Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Tetrix ornata - Ornate Pygmy Grasshopper

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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 Tetriginae
Genus Tetrix
Species ornata (Ornate Pygmy Grasshopper)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Tetrix ornata (Say, 1824). Synonyms, etc.:
Tetrix ornatum (spelling/gender)
Identification
See comments under T. brunneri.

Differs from T. subulata in being generally stockier, and in having the median ridge on top of the head prodtruding slightly but prominently beyond front of head (ending at front in T. subulata). The face is very little indented (nearly straight) just above antennae (indented fairly obviously in T. ornata, and strongly in T. brunneri).

In T. arenosus, the fastigium is roughly flat in front (instead of angled), and has the median ridge protruding somewhat as in this species. Also, the top of the pronotum is very flat and has the median ridge less developed.

Paratettix species have the fastigium as seen from above not reaching noticeably in front of the eyes.
Range
East from Rockies, and south from southern Canada to Texas and North Carolina.
Habitat
Mostly damp sandy or gravelly areas along edges of streams and rivers, sometimes other similarly damp areas, or wandering into drier areas nearby. Long-winged individuals are accomplished fliers.
Remarks
To see these (as with most Pygmy Grasshoppers), you have to reorient to looking for something really small. They are active, hard to follow with the eye, and very well camouflaged. They often jump or fly into the water to escape and will swim back out to the edge.