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Species Dissosteira carolina - Carolina Grasshopper

Carolina Grasshopper - Dissosteira carolina - male Carolina grasshopper - Dissosteira carolina - male A last instar female nymph - Dissosteira carolina - female Gray Grasshopper - Davidson's Mill Pond NJ - Dissosteira carolina BeigeHopper - Dissosteira carolina - female Reddish Large Gravel Grasshopper - Dissosteira carolina - female Orange colored grasshopper - Dissosteira carolina Pale-colored Grasshopper - Dissosteira carolina
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 Dissosteira
Species carolina (Carolina Grasshopper)
Other Common Names
Carolina Locust
Road Duster
Black-winged Grasshopper
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Gryllus (Locusta) carolinus Linneaus 1758. Described from Charleston, South Carolina
Acridium carolinum (Linneaus) De Geer, 1773
Locusta carolina (Linneaus) T.W. Harris, 1835
Dissosteira carolina (Linnaeus) S.H. Scudder, 1876
Acridium (Oedipoda) carolinum (Linneaus) S.H. Scudder, 1901
32-58 mm
Large. Long broad wings. High sharp ridge on pronotum with one deep cut. Color variable: various earth tones in shades from yellowish, reddish, or brown to grays or nearly black; rarely slightly greenish or bluish; typically rather even in coloring, but often speckled or mottled somewhat darker; sometimes with two irregular darker bands crossing tegmina. Hind wings distinctive, black except for yellow outer border. Hind tibiae brownish to yellow. "A strong flier, often seen hovering or in a zig-zag, fluttering flight of courtship." (1) Appears butterfly-like in flight. Males (mostly) crepitate faintly in flight, and stridulate (sing) by rubbing hind legs on tegmina.
Hind wing

Similar Dissosteira longipennis usually has more contrasting and obvious spotting over much of body and tegmina, and wings have a clear to pale white margin and base with a bluish tinge at very base. Head is proportionately larger. More restricted in distribution; found on Great Plains between roughly Wyoming & Nebraska and New Mexico & northern Texas (sometimes straying into bordering regions in high population years).

Often confused with Mourning Cloak butterflies (Nymphalis antiopa) due to similar size and wing coloring, but body shape and behavior is quite different, so any confusion should be short-lasting.
Most of lower 48 United States except southern Florida, Gulf Coastal Plain, southwest Arizona, and bottom 2/3rds of California. (1) Also across southern Canada and into northern Mexico.
Found often along roadsides, nearly bare ground.
Mid-summer to fall. May-November (mid-latitudes). Late June-October (Michigan). June-frost (North Carolina).
Grasses, forbs, horsetails (Equisetum).
Often mistaken for a butterfly due to large size and rather lazy bobbing flight. Probably the band-winged grasshopper most familiar to the most people in North America, due to its preference for disturbed, often dusty habitats, such as dirt roads, paths, vacant lots, etc.

Commonly attracted to lights at night.
See Also
Print References
Capinera, pp. 88-89, plate 13. (1)
Capinera, pp. 65-66, plates 42, 43 (2)
Helfer, p. 115, fig. 191 (3)
Bland, p. 110 (4)
Salsbury, p. 62 (5)
Brimley, p. 24 (6)
Works Cited
1.Field Guide To Grasshoppers, Katydids, And Crickets Of The United States
John L. Capinera, Ralph D. Scott, Thomas J. Walker. 2004. Cornell University Press.
2.Grasshoppers of Florida (Invertebrates of Florida)
John L. Capinera, Clay W. Scherer, Jason M. Squiter, Jason M. Squitier. 2002. University Press of Florida.
3.How to Know the Grasshoppers, Cockroaches, and Their Allies
Jacques R. Helfer. 1962. Wm. C. Brown Company.
4.Orthoptera of Michigan
Roger Bland. 2003. Michigan State University Extension.
5.Insects in Kansas
Glenn A. Salsbury and Stephan C. White. 2000. Kansas Dept. of Agriculture.
6.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.