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Hooded Grouse Locust - Paratettix cucullatus

Hooded Grouse Locust - Paratettix cucullatus
Horton's Pond, Chatham County, North Carolina, USA
May 7, 2005
Size: 15 mm
This tiny grasshopper was hanging out on the bare rock of a pond spillway, blending in very well. I could only see it when it jumped/flew to another spot. The bumpy texture of the grasshopper was excellent camouflage against the rock. I measured the length by photographing a scale against the rock surface after it had flown.

This does not appear to be a Tettigidea, such as the T. lateralis I (and others in the guide) have seen before:

The front of Tettigidea's pronotum is slightly pointed, that of this grasshopper is straight.

This might be a Tetrix. The specimens of that genus at Insects of Cedar Creek look close, especially the pattern of plates (?) on the side of the thorax and the bumpiness of the legs. Insects of Cedar Creek lists habitat as "primarily from marsh or pond edges", which is where I found this grassphopper. Two species, arenosa and ornata, are listed as common in the North Carolina State University Entomology Collection. So that's a plausible/possible genus.

A variety of information seems to favor Tetrix arenosa for this critter. Median ridge is feeble, pronotum almost flat, matching description of Tetrix arenosa given in Helfer's (1) key. That would seem to be a pretty good character, so I'm going to cross my fingers and place these photos there. Also, this photo matches (closely) photos (Insects of Cedar Creek, Orthoptera of Michigan) and illustrations (Helfer, above) of T. arenosa. That species is also listed as widespread in North Carolina by Brimley (2).

(AHA! See Correction to ID below. I'll leave the above material for reference.)
Image updated 11/30/2020

Images of this individual: tag all
Hooded Grouse Locust - Paratettix cucullatus Hooded Grouse Locust - Paratettix cucullatus

Moved from Obscure Pygmy Grasshopper. Thanks for correction!

This is Paratettix cucullatus
There are two good inticators easily seen here. Strongly lobed middle femur, and narrow fastigium that doesn't protrude in front of they eyes. T. arenosa is very similar in appearance, but the fastigium is distinctly wider.

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