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Acrididae to identify... - Spharagemon saxatile - female

Acrididae to identify... - Spharagemon saxatile - Female
Granby, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
September 9, 2009
Hello all,

Here are 4 Acrididae's pictures took at September 2009, in Quebec, Canada (near Vermont, USA).

I'm hesitating between Spharagemon bolli and Spharagemon collare.

Any idea about its id?

Thank you,

Quebec, Canada

Images of this individual: tag all
Acrididae to identify... - Spharagemon saxatile - female Acrididae to identify... - Spharagemon saxatile - female Acrididae to identify... - Spharagemon saxatile - female

Moved from Ledge Grasshopper.

On the right track
This is a female of Spharagemon saxatile.

Moved from ID Request.

Hello, Thank you very muc

Thank you very much for your help.

I'm trying to find some infos about S. saxatile in Quebec but didn't find as lot of things. Are you sure that species is present here? What lead you to S. saxatile from the picture and what is the main difference between this species and S. collare?

Thank you very much for your very appreciated help


Part of it is familiarity and knowing what they look like.
S. collare has a higher pronotal crest that is cut at an angle in the middle, and it tends to have a somewhat rounder looking face. It is usually more speckled or mottled in pattern (but this varies a lot). I think it is more likely to have the antenna a bit longer and ringed light and dark too, but I've never really looked closely at this trait. It's important to compare females with females and males with males too, as some of these traits vary a bit with gender too. S. collare is usually found in sandy places, and S. saxatile in rocky places. S. bolli is perhaps a bit more difficult, but it has a "cleaner" or "smoother" looking pattern usually, and the pronotal crest is sharp and pretty even in height (somewhat higher than in this one, but not much). The "shoulders" (rear side top edge of the pronotum) usually have a distinct angle where top and side meet (not so in S. collare, and sort of so in S. saxatile. The hind femur averages a different somewhat wider shape. Also, in most regions (except in the Southwest) the hind tibia has a blackish ring near the base (usually lacking or poorly developed in S. saxatile, and rarely indicated at all in S. collare. S. bolli usually occurs in openings in woodland and forest, and tends to fly over, through, or often into trees and brush to escape, while the other two tend to stick to totally open sunny ground (though there may be trees present). They all sound about the same when they fly, so there's no help there. S. saxatile does have a somewhat unusual habit (especially the females) when it lands of running under rocks or other objects to hide.

S. saxatile has been tentatively reported from southern Quebec, but I don't know the details of the report. It's not too far from habitats in the U.S., and it's not too surprizing that it might be there. I'm pretty sure that's what you've photographed here. For some reason, this species seems to get missed a lot, perhaps because it is often associated with common and very similar relatives.

It also looks a lot like S. equale, which occurs further west in grasslands regions. In fact I'm not convinced that S. equale & S. saxatile are different species.

A big thank you!!!
Hello David,

Thank you very much for this so detailed answer! It is REALLY appreciated and I will keep this info for future reference. The fact being that I didn't find a lot of information about S. saxatile on the Net...



No Subject
Thank you, Mr. Ferguson. ^_^

Mottled Sand Grasshopper, perhaps?
Well, having not examined the wings, one can merely speculate by image alone the identity of this individual. That said, given the rusty coloration of those rear tibiae and the confirmed distribution, Spharagemon collare seems like the educated choice.

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