Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Calendar

TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Subspecies Spharagemon equale equale

Spharagemon equale - male Spharagemon equale - female Say's Grasshopper - Spharagemon equale - male Say's Grasshopper - Spharagemon equale - male Spharagemon equale - female Little help here?   - Spharagemon equale - male Short-horned Grasshopper - Spharagemon equale - female Spharagemon equale - female
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 Trimerotropini
Genus Spharagemon
Species equale (Say's Grasshopper)
Subspecies equale (Spharagemon equale equale)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Gryllus equalis Say, 1825. Type locality: 20 miles west of Colby, Kansas
Locusta aequalis (Say) Harris, 1835
Oedipoda aequalis (Say) Uhler, 1862
Trimerotropis aequale (Say) Scudder, 1874
Spharagemon equale (Say) Scudder, 1875
Dissosteira (Spharagemon) aequalis (Say) Saussure, 1884
Dissosteira (Spharagemon) texensis (Say) Saussure, 1884. Type locality: presumably from Texas
Spharagemon texensis (Saussure) Scudder, 1899
Size
Varies considerably with climate. Usually a moderately large species.
males: 28-45 mm
females: 30-50 mm
Identification
Very similar to a number of species. Moderately large size, large rounded head; low but prominent pronotal ridge usually cut once (sometimes notched a second time); top of pronotum roof-like, sloping to sides. Sides and top of body usually dull, often grayish, often dark brown; hind wings pale yellow with bold curved dark band across middle that has a spur; tegmina with usually wide irregular dark bands crossing all the way; bright orange to red hind tibia (rarely yellow) and usually orange inner hind femur with usually small dark markings (or none). A striking "collared" color form is common in which the rear half of the pronotum, sides of head, and parts of legs are pale whitish, tan, or pinkish. This form is seen in many species of Spharagemon and Trimerotropis, but is much more striking in some species (including this one) than in others.
Trimerotropis pistrinaria (should be in genus Spharagemon) is extremely similar, but usually has the pronotal crest much lower and distinctly twice cut. It is usually paler (often whitish or gray) in color with the dark bands across the tegmina strongly contrasting, more sharply defined, and narrower; hinds wings usually a bit richer yellow with the cross band closer to true black; the inner hind femur is usually strongly marked with black cross bands, and often is mostly black. [see S. equale ssp. humile.
S. equale is also easily confused with Trimerotropis (= Spharagemon) campestris, T. modesta, and T. latifasciata, which are more slender in form, with proportionately smaller heads; top of pronotum flatter with median ridge cut distinctly twice and very low on metazona. T. campestris is smaller, and has the inner edge of the dark band across the hind wing usually straight and not curving around toward the base of the wing. T. modesta is much like T. campestris, but usually has the inner hind femur pale yellowish with bold black markings, and often the tip of the hind wing is dark. T. latifasciata is of similar size but different proportions. The curved black band across the hind wing is very wide (usually about a third as wide as the wing is long) with the spur very short. It also usually has red coloring on top of the abdomen.
T. melanoptera is nearly identical to T. latifasciata, but with the head slightly larger in proportion to the body, and with the dark wing band even wider. With the wings folded it looks much like S. equale. However, the hind wing has the dark band at least half as wide as the wing is long and usually not curving around the outer margin toward the base; the body is usually distinction reddish below (and usually the entire abdomen).
Spharagemon species mostly produce a continuous harsh buzzing flight crepitation, as do T. pistrinaria, T. campestris and T. modesta, but T. latifasciata and T. melanoptera produce a similarly (or more) harsh buzz that is interrupted or "pulsed".

In early literature, there was much confusion between various species of Trimerotropis and Spharagemon with red hind tibiae, and older records for several species are often questionable; many are definitely based on misidentified specimens. This species was often involved.
Range
Grassland regions from west of the Mississippi Valley to British Columbia, eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, Utah, and New Mexico, and from southern Canada into Texas. Primarily a Great Plains species. Apparently missing from much of the Rocky Mountains and Wyoming Basin and Colorado Plateaus (probably too cold or too dry, lacking in open grasslands that the species favors).
Habitat
Primarily open semi-arid short grasslands.
Life Cycle
Overwinters as eggs in soil. Adults appear mostly in late June or July and are most abundant through early summer with some lingering until winter cold sets in.
Remarks
Sometimes attracted to lights in large numbers on warm evenings.
Internet References
TAMU Nice photos of a specimen. [Link is broken; needs to be updated.]