Species Meconema thalassinum - Drumming Katydid
Orthoptera of North-Eastern AmericaBy W. S. Blatchley
The Nature Publishing Company, 1920
Old is not always bad. While it is seriously outdated (1920), most thorough and comprehensive single treatment of eastern US Orthoptera (and related insects) published is 'Orthoptera of North-eastern America' by W. S. Blatchley. Some subsets of the insects included in this book have been more recently treated in more depth, but not all together in one place.
The title is a bit misleading, because included are nearly all species then known to be found east of the Mississippi. Also, the definition of Orthoptera has changed over the years, and this book includes things such as Earwigs (Dermaptera), Roaches & Mantids (Dictyoptera), and Walkingsticks (Phasmatodea). It is well worth a search through libraries and used book shops if you are really interested in these insects. It does not have much in the way of illustrations (mostly drawings to aid in identification where necessary), but it is very interesting to read, with lots of discussion and detail. Each species is discussed at length and includes descriptions of the insect, habitat, life history when known, history, etc.
Songs of Crickets and Katydids of the Mid-Atlantic StatesBy Steve Rannels, Wil Hershberger and Joseph Dillon
Mentioned by Eric Eaton in a post--I have not heard this CD. It is available from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (www.sapsuckerwoods.com
). Can be ordered from the authors at http://cricketsong.tripod.com/
(link updated 10/7/2010).
Update: I have this CD, and the quality is very good. It overlaps, somewhat, Elliott and Hershberger, The Songs of Insects (1)
, an excellent book that includes a CD of 75 species of orthoptera, plus some cicadas.
Orthoptera of MichiganBy Roger Bland
Michigan State University Extension, 2003
Spiral bound, 220 pages. Has 100 or more color photos, mostly of specimens, illustrated keys, life history information. Gives seasonal information for Michigan. Has extensive references and a glossary. Looks very useful for anyone in the eastern or central United States. Luckily, many southern species just reach Michigan, so they are included. Includes all orthopterans, not just grasshoppers--a real plus. My only wish is that the photos were a bit larger.
Available directly from the Michigan State University Exttension service at this page
Field Guide To Grasshoppers, Katydids, And Crickets Of The United StatesBy John L. Capinera, Ralph D. Scott, Thomas J. Walker
Cornell University Press, 2004
Finally got a copy--the hardback. It is just stunning. Key features:
* color illustrations of 206 species
* anatomic diagrams and explanations
* range maps
* discussions of identification (including similar species) and ecology
* pictorial key that looks very useful, and accessible to the amateur.
Minor quibbles: There are plenty of illustrations, 206 in color, but there could always be more. (Hey, but then it would be really pricey!) I wish the plates had references to page numbers in the text, but that would make them cluttered and less pretty. (They are lovely as is.) It would be great if there was an accompanying CD with songs, but they do refer to the Singing Insects of North America web site. Perhaps a CD will be published in the future.