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Genus Schistocerca - Bird Grasshoppers

Schistocerca? - Schistocerca albolineata - male Bright Green Grasshopper - Schistocerca Mischievous Bird Grasshopper? - Schistocerca rubiginosa - female grasshopper - Schistocerca americana Spotted Bird Grasshopper - Schistocerca lineata - Schistocerca lineata - male Schistocerca lineata Bird Grasshopper - Schistocerca American Bird Grasshopper - Schistocerca americana
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 Cyrtacanthacridinae (Bird Grasshoppers)
Genus Schistocerca (Bird Grasshoppers)
Explanation of Names
Schistocerca Stål 1873
Greek 'split tail' (in this case referring to cercus)
Numbers
13 spp. in our area, ~50 total(1)(BG data)
Identification
Prosternal process present, mesosternal lobes longer than wide
Range
New World, mostly neotropical, with one Old World species (Sch. gregaria)(1)
Food
Carotenoids are required for optimal development. Carotene-free diets result in reduced growth and delayed development in a single generation.
S. gregaria fed lettuce supplemented with 1 mg of phenylalanine per day resulted in a 130% increase in mass relative to controls. Most of this phenylalanine was incorporated into the cuticle, presumably converted into tyrosine for the sclerotization process.
Remarks
The locust of the biblical plagues (well-known and dreaded throughout the Middle East and Europe in ancient times) is Sch. gregaria, the only Old World member of this genus(1). North American species are much less prone to swarming.
Note: some species vary greatly in color/pattern and can be very similar in appearance. Some BG images placed on 'best fit' basis may be misidentified, because reliable image-based ID may be impossible, especially in the "Alutacea Group" (S. albolineata, alutacea, lineata, obscura, rubiginosa, & shoshone).
Works Cited
1.Revision of the Alutacea Group of genus Schistocerca (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Cyrtacanthacridinae).
Song, H.J. 2004. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 97(3): 420-436.