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Species Circotettix maculatus - Dancing Grasshopper

Circotettix maculatus - male Circotettix maculatus - male Circotettix maculatus - male Circotettix maculatus - male Circotettix maculatus - male Circotettix maculatus - female Circotettix maculatus - female  Band-winged Grasshoppers (Oedipodinae)- which species? - Circotettix maculatus - male
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 Oedipodinae (Band-winged Grasshoppers)
Tribe Trimerotropini
Genus Circotettix
Species maculatus (Dancing Grasshopper)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Circotettix maculatus Scudder, 1880, from "Nevada, Sierra Nevada"
Aerochoreutes maculatus (Scudder) Strohecker, Middlekauff & D.C.F. Rentz, 1968
Explanation of Names
There seems to be no published common name for this species. Except, as suggested by Doug Taron here, relating to a verse written by John Muir in 'My First Summer in the Sierra'. This seems to qualify well enough. It is possible that Muir was watching C. shastanus when he wrote, but it's not possible to be sure, and C. maculatus is the most common species in that area.
Usually the body is more strongly marked with dark spots or irregular cross bands than in related species that are found with it. The wings are partly black without yellow, green or blue coloring. Smaller in size than other Circotettix species, and about half the bulk of other species with which it is found. Wings are proportionately shorter than in related species (noticeably shorter than in C. shastanus and C. undulatus). Hind tibiae are yellowish. Flight crepitation has less popping or snapping to the sound, and a bit closer to buzzing. Though it may vary somewhat with behavior, season, and temperature.
Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino Mountains in Calfornia.
Exposed rocky areas, particularly slopes, at high elevations (mostly subalpine and alpine).
Overwinters as eggs. Adults summer until the first winter weather, starting in late June or more often July.
This species behaves quite differently from other Circotettix species in it's usually low direct style of flight. It's crepitation is not nearly so loud as in other species, and is more of a harsh rapid buzz, lacking the loud snaps of other species. It lives mostly on steep rocky slopes, being particularly fond of rockslides. These are wary insects and will often fly upslope and land on the sides of rocks where they sit alert and ready to fly upslope again at the next try to get close to them. Females in particular will often dive between rocks to hide. Roadcuts through rockslides are often a great place to see them, where they will often congregate at the sides of the road.