The North American Grasshoppers, volume I, Acrididae, Gomphocerinae and AcridinaeBy Daniel Otte
This is a very thorough treatment of the Slant-face Grasshoppers. It is full of information on behavior, has descriptions and maps of all species, as well as high quality illustrations of nearly all. It is extremely useful as an identification guide, as well as for learning about these fascinating insects. It covers all of North America from Panama northward. The treatment is still nearly up to date, with little having changed since it was published. I believe it is out of print now, but I find it still occasionally available. Hopefully it will be reprinted.
Harvard University Press
The North American Grasshoppers, volume II, Acrididae, OedipodinaeBy Daniel Otte
This is a very thorough treatment of the Band-wing Grasshoppers. It is full of information on behavior, has descriptions and maps of all species, as well as high quality illustrations of nearly all. It is extremely useful as an identification guide, as well as for learning about these fascinating insects. It covers all of North America from Panama northward. The treatment is still nearly up to date, with little having changed since it was published. Long out of print, it is now available again from Harvard University Press
How to Know the Grasshoppers, Cockroaches, and Their AlliesBy Jacques R. Helfer
Wm. C. Brown Company, 1962
Part of the original Pictured Key Nature Series. I have only seen the 1962 original paperback. There was a 1987 Dover reprint, apparently of the 1972 (2nd) edition.
Covers grasshoppers, termites, cockroaches, and mantids. Has 540 good black-and-white illustrations. Though somewhat dated, has more thorough coverage of some groups (e.g., Pygmy Grasshoppers, Tetrigidae) than more recent popular guides. Worth finding if you are interested in orthoptera.
The 1987 Dover reprint of the 2nd edition includes a new preface, new footnotes, new illustrations, treatment of crickets, and a
Orthoptera of North-Eastern AmericaBy W. S. Blatchley
The Nature Publishing Company, 1920
Old is not always bad. While it is seriously outdated (1920), most thorough and comprehensive single treatment of eastern US Orthoptera (and related insects) published is 'Orthoptera of North-eastern America' by W. S. Blatchley. Some subsets of the insects included in this book have been more recently treated in more depth, but not all together in one place.
The title is a bit misleading, because included are nearly all species then known to be found east of the Mississippi. Also, the definition of Orthoptera has changed over the years, and this book includes things such as Earwigs (Dermaptera), Roaches & Mantids (Dictyoptera), and Walkingsticks (Phasmatodea). It is well worth a search through libraries and used book shops if you are really interested in these insects. It does not have much in the way of illustrations (mostly drawings to aid in identification where necessary), but it is very interesting to read, with lots of discussion and detail. Each species is discussed at length and includes descriptions of the insect, habitat, life history when known, history, etc.
Songs of Crickets and Katydids of the Mid-Atlantic StatesBy Steve Rannels, Wil Hershberger and Joseph Dillon
Mentioned by Eric Eaton in a post--I have not heard this CD. It is available from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (www.sapsuckerwoods.com
). Can be ordered from the authors at http://cricketsong.tripod.com/
(link updated 10/7/2010).
Update: I have this CD, and the quality is very good. It overlaps, somewhat, Elliott and Hershberger, The Songs of Insects (1)
, an excellent book that includes a CD of 75 species of orthoptera, plus some cicadas.
Orthoptera of MichiganBy Roger Bland
Michigan State University Extension, 2003
Spiral bound, 220 pages. Has 100 or more color photos, mostly of specimens, illustrated keys, life history information. Gives seasonal information for Michigan. Has extensive references and a glossary. Looks very useful for anyone in the eastern or central United States. Luckily, many southern species just reach Michigan, so they are included. Includes all orthopterans, not just grasshoppers--a real plus. My only wish is that the photos were a bit larger.
Available directly from the Michigan State University Exttension service at this page