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Blue-Winged Grasshopper - Leprus intermedius - female

Blue-Winged Grasshopper - Leprus intermedius - Female
Black Mesa, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, USA
September 10, 2012
I am guessing Leprus wheeleri because of the pronotum, but it's hard for me to tell. The wings were a strong blue. It flew 50+ feet at a time.

Good guess, but I think it's the other one
This one is tough, but I think it's Leprus intermedius. The pronotum is barely expanded below, more as in L. wheeleri, but she "looks" more like L. intermedius.

Here are a few more reasons. I have yet to find L. wheeleri quite that far northeast (though it is abundant less than a hundred miles further south). On the Plains L. wheeleri has yellow wings and usually yellowish or greenish, or sometimes pale bluish hind tibiae. I've never seen one so far east with bright blue hind tibiae like this, nor blue wings, nor rich blue on the under side of the body (though west of the Rio Grande they are often blue, though it's a lighter, often greenish blue). I don't know if you remember the size, but L. wheeleri is larger, perhaps two or more times the body mass of L. intermedius found in the same area (and roughly half again longer). Except for the Plains Lubber, female L. wheeleri are perhaps the heaviest Grasshopper in the region.

I actually would not be surprised to see L. wheeleri at Black Mesa, probably out in the gravelly areas in the grassland, but probably not on the steeper slopes. I do vaguely recall maybe seeing them up near the Purgatoire R. in Colorado, maybe 35 years ago - with greenish yellow wings. Have never gone back to look again, maybe it was Hadrotettix magnificus flying up instead though (?).

L. wheeleri, all with yellow wings, were swarming at lights in Logan and Tucumcari in New Mexico (not too far south) about a month ago, and probably still are. I've also seen them near Dalhart.

Moved from rel="nofollow" rel="nofollow">Leprus.

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