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grasshopper - Schistocerca lineata - male

grasshopper - Schistocerca lineata - Male
Manton, Shasta County, California, USA
September 14, 2006
Size: 2-"
Thank you for identifying the shield katydid. Though I reserve copywrite on my pictures, you may use them any way you desire... if they are usable.

We own 200 acres here and I am trying to identify everything I can get a picture of. I'm good at plants and animals other than insects and spiders.

I found this grasshopper in my vegetable garden. It has a cream or white stripe for most of his body length. The hind legs are red.

We live about 15 miles east of Mount Lassen at about 3,000' elevation, Mediterranean climate.

See comments under "Info" above
I have learned a lot more, and have been able to fill in a lot of "gaps" in my knowledge of these as they are found west of the Rockies. I don't consider these with stripes to be the same as S. shoshone anymore, since I've too many times found the two living near or with one another, and yet behaving as two totally and distinct species. As far north as Shasta County (in fact pretty much everywhere north of the Mojave Desert) I would consider to be S. lineata. This is getting back to some earlier interpretations (when the synonym, or perhaps subspecies name "venusta" was used for these striped green western Bird Grasshoppers.

Moved from Green Bird Grasshopper.

Moved from Bird Grasshoppers.

Schistocerca shoshone
based on location and the fat femora of the front four legs (and on recent literature), this would be S. shoshone. It's the only species listed as found in n. California. The yellow stripe on top is seen more often in some populatons than in others. Green color and red hind tibiae are characteristic of this species. S. albolineata is normally less rich green or yellowish ot blackish in color, and usually there are contrasting markings on the hind femora. As far as I know S. albolineata is not recorded from California, and is not recorded from anywhere as far north as Mt. Lassen.

There is also S. lineata (not recorded from California either - as far as I know), which can look very much like this one. There are populations in NM and AZ that I am calling S. lineata that look similar to this one. The only real distinction is that in S. shoshone there are supposed to be no black dots on the abdomen, and on S. lineata (and most other species; I wish I could see the side of the abdomen on this one!) there are. S. lineata almost always has the yellow stripe on top, S. shoshone often doesn't. To me it seems that S. shoshone and S. lineata may represent ecological/geographic variations of one species, and S. albolineata + S. obscura variations of another species. If I hadn't known the location for this one, I would have probably said it looked like S. lineata!

White-lined Bird Grasshopper
This looks to be Schistocerca albolineata. The bright reddish tibiae help key to this species, as well as the S. obscura-like markings.

Bird grasshopper.
This is some kind of bird grasshopper in the genus Schistocerca. There shouldn't be more than at most two-three species that occur in your area, as this is chiefly a southern genus that occasionally migrates northward.

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