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Photo#9220
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

Shrinkage?
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

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