Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Information, insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Black-sided Pygmy Grasshoppers - Tettigidea lateralis - male - female

Black-sided Pygmy Grasshoppers - Tettigidea lateralis - Male Female
Orange County, North Carolina, USA
April 30, 1993
Found in the understory of a bottomland deciduous forest. These are apparently the short-winged form. Compare image at Insects of Cedar Creek linked below, which apparently shows the long-winged form.

See linked images below for another view of these two, from a slightly different angle, and a detail of head and pronotum.

I think these are likely Tettigidea lateralis. See:
Helfer, pp. 92-93, fig. 157 (1)
Bland, p. 131 (2)
Insects of Cedar Creek
Abundant in the North Carolina State University Entomology Collection (179 pinned--most frequently collected of genus).

I think I'm convinced enough looking at those images to place this photo in a guide for Tettigidea lateralis. Identification is based on details of pronotal shape (not too strongly arched, and not spined at front). These characters differentiate from Nomotettix cristatus, which has a more strongly arched pronotum and "back". It is also very small, under 1 cm, and found in dry habitats. (My critters were in a moist area.) Tettigidea armata is similar to T. lateralis, but has a spiney projection on front of pronotum. References are Bland (2) and Helfer. (1)

Compare also Richard Leung's photo from Virginia:

Another interesting point about this photo is that the male has an ivory-white face, and the female's face is black. This is typical of the species, according to Capinera, p. 151. (3)

Images of this individual: tag all
Black-sided Pygmy Grasshoppers - Tettigidea lateralis - male - female Black-sided Pygmy Grasshopper--detail - Tettigidea lateralis - male - female

Maybe the pinned specimen's abdomen has shrunk?

Aha! Long/short-winged forms
Aha! Helfer, p. 82 (1) says the whole family is prone to producing long and short-winged forms. Very interesting biology, they also sometimes reproduce parthenogenetically. (These two were not!) The adults overwinter, too. I'll have to look for these again--I've not noted them since I took the photo. So many orthopterans, so little time.

This id. is looking pretty good, I think, esp. since this is an abundant species in the NCSU collection. T. prorsa is somewhat similar, but has small eyes, more slant-faced. It is local in pine woods. See Helfer, p. 92. (1)

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.