Explanation of Names
Oedipoda pellucida S.H. Scudder, 1862. Type locality: Massachusetts
Stenobothrus obiona C. Thomas, 1871 . Type locality: vicinity of Cañon City, Colorado
Oedipoda atrox S.H. Scudder, 1872. Type locality: California
Oedipoda tricarinata Stål, 1873. Type locality: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Tragocephala obiona (C. Thomas) C. Thomas, 1873
Camnula pellucida (S.H. Scudder) S.H. Scudder, 1874
Chimarocephala obiona (C. Thomas) L. Bruner, 1883
Size relatively small with adults mostly between 3/4 and 1 1/4 inch long (face to folded wing tips). Surface of body appearing rather smooth. Variable in coloration, but usually grayish, yellowish, or brownish with dark pantherine spots on tegmina (i.e. leopard-spotted), dark diagonal bands crossing outer hind femora, and two pale stripes along top lateral margins of pronotum and folded tegmina. Hind tibiae and inner hind femora usually yellow, sometimes with dark bands across inner hind femur. Hind wings clear or only slightly yellowish with only veins dark (or at most some faint dark clouding apically).
Similar in appearance to other genera of tribe Hippiscini, but all other species in the tribe have the hind wings brightly pigmented, and most are much larger in size.
Encoptolophus species could be confused, but hind tibiae are usually blue or blackish, and the tegminal pattern is not pantherine.
Some Spur-throat Grasshoppers (mostly Melanoplus species) may appear similar, but close examination will show a different color pattern and a prominent spur between the front legs.
Pacific to Atlantic, north of roughly 41 degrees north latitude, and mostly south of the Arctic tundra. In western North America reaching further south in higher elevations and near the coast to southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
A variety of open sunny grassy areas, typically habitats are rather meadow-like with a cover of relatively short grass or sedges, and are not soggy wet nor extremely dry.
This sometimes abundant species has been known to swarm and to migrate short distances to mass breeding grounds. It has become destructive to crops and pastureland at times, mostly where natural habitats have been converted to agricultural purposes. However, its numbers are normally too small to cause significant damage.
Ball, E.D., 1915. 'How to Control the Grasshoppers
', Utah Agricultural College Experiment Station, Bulletin No. 138. Gives and interesting and historical look at grasshopper problems and control in central Utah and beyond. A large section of the publication focuses on the "Warrior Grasshopper" - Camnula pellucida
at it's most abundant and worst.