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Species Schistocerca obscura - Obscure Bird Grasshopper

Obscure Bird Grasshopper - Schistocerca obscura - female Grasshopper - Schistocerca obscura - male hoppers - Schistocerca obscura - female Obscure Bird Grasshopper - Schistocerca obscura  - Schistocerca obscura Bird Grasshopper - Schistocerca obscura very large grasshopper - Schistocerca obscura - female Unknown katydid - Schistocerca obscura Schistocerca obscura
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)
Species obscura (Obscure Bird Grasshopper)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Gryllus obscurus Fabricius, 1798. Type locality: Ele, Allen County, Kansas
Acridium obscurum (Fabricius) Gundlach, 1887
Schistocerca obscura (Fabricius) Scudder, 1899
Size
males 36-45 mm; females 50-65 mm
Identification
body green with gray or reddish-brown forewings; side of knee bright green, yellow, or whitish, conspicuously contrasting against black on dorsolateral edge of knee; similarly-colored spot on side of thorax behind pronotum; top of hindfemur has two black bars; usually has pale yellow dorsal stripe, sometimes lacking in females

Schistocerca obscura (Fabricius) (male)
Det. Marion Le Gall, 2010
Range
southern United States, into southwest: Pennsylvania south to Florida, west to Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, southern Arizona (= AZ-FL-PA-KS)
Habitat
fields and open woodlands
Season
summer to early fall; August-October (North Carolina)
Remarks
This is a member of the "Alutacea" Group, which includes several very closely related populations that are treated by some authors all as subspecies of S. alutacea, by other authors as all distinct species, but which are most often grouped as several subspecies included within a few species. S. obscura is one of the more easily recognized of the group, but is still sometimes very difficult to tell from S. alutacea and S. lineata, and it is very closely similar in morphology to S. albolineata.
See Also
S. albalineata in southwest is very similar.
Print References
Capinera, Field Guide to Grasshoppers..., pp. 146-147, plate 31 (1)
Capinera, Grasshoppers of Florida, p. 124, plate 100 (2)
Helfer, pp. 189-190, fig. 307 (3)
Brimley, p. 25 (4)
Internet References
live adult image by Bill Brower, plus classification, references, and drawing of male subgenital plate (Orthoptera Species File)
live images of nymphs and adult (Hojun Song, Brigham Young U., schistocerca.org)
Works Cited
1.Field Guide To Grasshoppers, Katydids, And Crickets Of The United States
John L. Capinera, Ralph D. Scott, Thomas J. Walker. 2004. Cornell University Press.
2.Grasshoppers of Florida (Invertebrates of Florida)
John L. Capinera, Clay W. Scherer, Jason M. Squiter, Jason M. Squitier. 2002. University Press of Florida.
3.How to Know the Grasshoppers, Cockroaches, and Their Allies
Jacques R. Helfer. 1962. Wm. C. Brown Company.
4.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.