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Species Lactista azteca - Aztec Grasshopper

Acrididae: Lactista? - Lactista azteca Aztec Grasshopper - Lactista azteca - male Aztec Grasshopper - Lactista azteca - female Aztec Grasshopper - Lactista azteca - female grasshopper - Lactista azteca - male Grasshopper - Unknown - Lactista azteca Lactista azteca - male Lactista azteca - male
Classification
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 Arphiini
Genus Lactista
Species azteca (Aztec Grasshopper)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Oedipoda azteca Saussure, 1861. Type locality: Mezitill [Lake Metztitlan], Mexico
Tomonotus aztecus Saussure, 1884
Lactista boscanus Rehn, 1902. Type locality: Ysleta, El Paso County, Texas
Platylactista aztecus Hebard, 1932 [should be "azteca"]
Lactista aztecus Otte, 1984 [should be "azteca"]
Explanation of Names
Sometimes still called Platylactista azteca (Saussure). See "How to Know the Grasshoppers...." by Jacques Helfer.
Identification
Small size (females usually not or little over 1 inch long, males smaller). Pronotum is much narrower at front than back and has low median ridge cut only once. Hind wings yellow with dark cross band; hind tibiae usually bluish. Outer side of hind femur usually has one prominent dark cross band in front of lighter narrowest part; this may be the only dark band, or if not is darker than other cross bands. Usually one narrow slightly diagonal band across folded tegmina, a little past the middle, that is the only one or the darkest one, and that lines up with the one on the hind femur. Very active and alert; often buzzes faintly when flying.

Most likely to be confused with Arphia, species, but is smaller, and narrowed front of pronotum is distinctive. Buzz produced in flight is fainter and higher pitched.
Range
East-central and south Texas, westward across southern New Mexico and southern Arizona, and southward across Mexico to at least Puebla.
Habitat
Varies - open woodland, grassland, rock outcroppings, desert, etc. Most often found on exposed gravelly areas, often disturbed. May be common on little-used gravelled roads or parking areas, and along embankments.
Season
Multiple-brooded, with adults and nymphs occuring throughout year. In areas with freezing winters, apparently overwinters mostly as nymphs, with adults often most abundant in spring.