Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Xanthippus lateritius Saussure, 1884, from Nevada
Cratypedes lateritius (Saussure), D. Otte, 1984
?Xanthippus calthulus Saussure, 1884, from Nevada
Hippiscus griseus Scudder, 1892, from Mokiak Pass, Mojave County, Arizona [near St. George, Utah]
Xanthippus griseus (Scudder) Kirby, 1910
Hippiscus validus Scudder, 1901, from Blaine County, Idaho
Xanthippus validus (Scudder) Kirby, 1910
Hippiscus olancha Caudell, 1921. Type locality: Olancha, Inyo County, California
Xanthippus olancha (Caudell) Rehn, 1921
Agymnastes haemopterus Strohecker, 1952. Type locality: Hesperia, San Bernardino County, California
Explanation of Names
Names applied to western species in this tribe (mostly as Xanthippus, Hippiscus, or Cratypedes) have been confused in literature, and a number of names have been variously misapplied. This species has often been refered to as X. montanus, which as currently defined is a very different species. Conversely, the name C. lateritius has been misapplied to variants of other species.
Smallish to medium sized for the group. Males mostly under 30 mm long and females mostly under 45 mm long (but sometimes larger, particularly toward the west).
Pronotum usually very rough, sharply rounded at the "shoulders" (lateral carinae usually little developed or at least very broken there). Head usually rough on top. Pattern fairly plain to speckled or spotted with dark, the dark spots often grouped into ill-defined cross bands on the tegmina. Sometimes with pale stripes forming roughly an "X" on the pronotum and extending back along top edges of folded tegmina, though usually these are lacking. Hind wings vary in color, but most often orange to red, sometimes pink or yellow (yellow is rare to uncommon in most regions, but more often seen toward the southeast and northwest extremes of the species' distribution. Hind femur varied in width, but often very broad (in southern part of distribution may be even more expanded below than in X. corallipes). Inner hind femur yellow to red, nearly always with at least faint or partial dark cross bands, and sometimes (particularly westward; = "olancha") dominated by black or blue-black. Hind tibiae yellow, orange, or red (sometimes yellow on the outside and reddish on the inside).
Structurally, this species is very close to X. corallipes, but where the two occur together this species is the smaller, often considerably smaller. It is usually "hairier" when seen up close, particularly toward the west. Generally in C. lateritius the fastigium and thorax are proportionately narrower, but this is only an average difference. Often the hind femur of C. lateritius is proportionately narrower, but this is also only an average difference, and it can actually be wider in some regions. The lateral carinae of the metazona of the pronotum also average more complete and strongly developed in X. corallipes. The antennae of C. lateritius run a bit more slender and shorter (usually not or just barely longer than the hind femur in males, and shorter than that in females), and rather than the solid dark (usually nearly black) of X. corallipes, they tend to be grayish with pale rings. A primary distinction in most regions is in color pattern, with a strongly "pantherine" pattern usually developed in X. corallipes and the pale markings of the head and pronotum usually more strongly developed. Most commonly the pale stripes that run the length of the pronotum and folded tegmina are ill-defined or missing on C. lateritius, but are prominent (only very rarely missing) on X. corallipes. X. corallipes is more likely to have yellow wings.
X. corallipes, in the northern Colorado Plateaus, the Wyoming Basin, and the surrounding mountains, can look very similar in color pattern to C. lateritius (more so in females than males), and small-sized X. corallipes from high elevations have often been misidentified. These areas are partly outside of the distribution of C. lateritius, but the two may occur together in eastern Idaho, southwest Wyoming, and perhaps in far northern Utah to the east or north of the northern Wasatch Range. Usually these X. corallipes will show at least something of the "pantherine" spot pattern of X. corallipes (males nearly always do), and the pale stripes are usually strongly developed on top (rarely totally absent). High elevation X. corallipes females often have short wings (apparently female C. lateritius never do). Males of X. corallipes often tend to have a yellowish cast to the face and lower parts of the body, and they are larger in comparison to females than are males of C. lateritius.
C. cratypedes usually is less spotted, with dark cross bands on the tegmina usually more defined and solid. The lateral lobes of the pronotum widen strongly below. The hind wings are always yellow with the dark band wider, darker, and often with the tips of the wings dark. The hind tibiae and inner hind femora are usually red, with little trace of dark markings on the inner femur.
Somewhat similar populations, placed by Daniel Otte under the name C. lateritius, from higher elevations in the White Mountains and Sierra Nevada in Nevada and California, and perhaps northward to southern Oregon, seem to represent a different species. They are presently placed under the name Xanthippus sierra (tentatively) on BugGuide. Adults occur in summer/autumn, and north from about Tahoe the wings are normally yellow.
Between the Cascades/Sierra Nevada and the Rockies. Found from s. British Columbia to s. California, east across most of Nevada and s. Idaho into sw. Wyoming, w. Utah and extreme nw. Arizona. Should be watched for where Wyoming Basin crosses into ne. Utah and nw. Colorado.
Mostly in Great Basin desert and grassland on exposed areas associated with Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) or occasionally other shrubs, particularly favors somewhat elevated or sloping ground in gently hilly or broken areas. Apparently also sometimes in large openings in sparsely wooded areas.
Probably mostly grasses, and favors grasses in captivity. However, this is apparently not documented in the field, and some areas where found have very little if any grass growing. The strong association with Sagebrush is interesting, and perhaps this plant is used for food, though there is no proof of this.
Eggs hatch in late summer/autumn and nymphs overwinter. Adults in spring, mostly maturing in April (sometimes March), and mostly gone by mid June.
'The Grasshoppers of California', Strohecker, Middlekauff, and Rentz, 1967 University of California Press, and Cambridge University Press.