Species Schistocerca obscura - Obscure Bird Grasshopper
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
males 36-45 mm; females 50-65 mm
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
southern United States, into southwest: Pennsylvania south to Florida, west to Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, southern Arizona (= AZ-FL-PA-KS)
fields and open woodlands
summer to early fall; August-October (North Carolina)
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.
S. albalineata in southwest is very similar.
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)
live adult image
by Bill Brower, plus classification
, references, and drawing of male subgenital plate (Orthoptera Species File)
live images of nymphs
(Hojun Song, Brigham Young U., schistocerca.org)
|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.
|4.||Insects of North Carolina|
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.