Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
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Order Orthoptera - Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids

Scudderia furcata - female nymph of? - Phaneroptera nana Coast Sand-treader Cricket - Rhachocnemis validus - male Orchelimum nigripes - male short-winged meadow katydid - Conocephalus brevipennis - male Xanthippus montanus - female Slant-faced Grasshopper - Stenacris vitreipennis Female, Elegant Bush Katydid? - Insara elegans - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
The treatment here follows primarily (1)
In this and related orders, some authors tend to elevate categories such as tribes, subfamilies, etc. to higher ranks, while others do the opposite or remain more conservative. This has lead to an ongoing, often very confusing, inconsistency and instability in the literature.
Explanation of Names
Greek orthos (straight) + pteron (wing)
>1,200 species in 256 genera in our area(2); >20,000 spp. total
hind legs long, modified for jumping
forewings (tegmina) hardened, leathery, spread in flight, covering membranous hindwings at rest
cerci (appendages at tip of abdomen) unsegmented
pronotum usually with large descending lobes on sides
hind coxae small and well-separated
hind tibiae with two dorsal rows of teeth
Images needed for identification listed in (3)
worldwide except very cold regions; most diverse in warmer climates
Life Cycle
Metamorphosis gradual; nymphs resemble adults, typically develop external wing buds, and live in the same habitat as adults. In most crickets and katydids, the female mounts the male for mating — apparently the primitive behavior in Orthoptera. Acrididae have a contorted mating posture with the male mounting the female.(4)
many orthopterans exhibit a green-brown polymorphism, tending to be green during wetter seasons and brown in drier parts
Print References
Works Cited
1.Orthoptera Species File Online
2.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
3.Photographing Orthopterans - the best images to take
4.Field Guide To Grasshoppers, Katydids, And Crickets Of The United States
John L. Capinera, Ralph D. Scott, Thomas J. Walker. 2004. Cornell University Press.
5.Synopsis of Orthoptera (sensu lato) of Alabama
Matt E. Dakin, Jr., and Kirby L. Hays. 1970. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin, No. 404.
6.Orthoptera of North-Eastern America
W. S. Blatchley. 1920. The Nature Publishing Company.
7.The grasshoppers, crickets, and related insects of Canada and adjacent regions: Ulonata, Dermaptera, Cheleutoptera, Notoptera, D
V. R. Vickery. 1986. Canadian Government Publishing Center.
8.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
9.Orthoptera of Michigan
Roger Bland. 2003. Michigan State University Extension.