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Photo#989271
Yet another Zayante Sandhills grasshopper - Trimerotropis thalassica - female

Yet another Zayante Sandhills grasshopper - Trimerotropis thalassica - Female
Zayante Sandhills, Santa Cruz County, California, USA
August 24, 2014
This one was larger than the previous two posts.

Images of this individual: tag all
Yet another Zayante Sandhills grasshopper - Trimerotropis thalassica - female Yet another Zayante Sandhills grasshopper - Trimerotropis thalassica - female Yet another Zayante Sandhills grasshopper - Trimerotropis thalassica - female Yet another Zayante Sandhills grasshopper - Trimerotropis thalassica - female

female Thalassica Grasshopper
Trimerotropis thalassica. There is a related and endangered local endemic grasshopper called Trimerotropis infantilis (the "Zayante Grasshopper") found in the same area. It is smaller with a bolder color pattern (including a dark band across the face). It is very similar to T. [fontana] koebelei and T. cincta, but even smaller than those too.

Moved from Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids.

 
Thanks, David
For the ID of this large and handsome T. thalassica ... and, yes, I'm aware of the presence of the "Zayante Band-Winged Grasshopper" in the sandhills. In fact, I keep on wondering if I'm seeing it when I run into grasshoppers there, but don't know quite how to recognize it.

In particular, I wonder if may be the one in the post below:


 
Zayante Grasshopper comments
The Xerces Society used to have a nice clear photo of a male T. infantilis, but I can't find it now, though I don't see why it shouldn't still be circulating. There are some moderately clear photos at "arkive.org". Size-wise, T. infantilis aren't that different from Psoloessa, though perhaps a bit smaller and more slender. Visually they look a lot like T. cincta & T. koebelei, but a bit more compact in proportions I think. T. koebelei occurs in the same area. but that should be larger (usually runs similar in size to T. thalassica), or perhaps a tiny bit shorter).

As a side note, you'll see cross references to T. cincta, koebelei, and fontana that might be a bit confusing. I think they are all variants of a single species, differing primarily in coloring. T. cincta is in the Rockies, and T. koebelei, which looks exactly the same, is in the mountains in California. T. fontana covers a lot of variants from the Pacific coast to the Rockies. These all blend into one-another, and some specimens are quite difficult to place neetly under one or another name. I mentioned T. cincta above, because there are very few photos of T. koebelei available to look at. The best one I've been able to find on-line is here, and it was one odd individual among many (variable) T. fontana.

These are all easy to confuse with T. thalassica, which is the plainest in color pattern, the head usually looks smaller, it has hind femora that tend to appear more slender before the "knees", and probably averages the longest (partly due to longer wings). It has a weak dark hindwing cross band (if any indication at all), while the others have a fairly strong, usually nearly black cross band. The hind wings of T. thalassica usually run greener in color (sometimes distinctly bluish), while the others usually look more yellow. Of course the hind wing traits are no help if you can't see them.

If T. infantilis behaves like T. cincta/fontana/koebelei, it might be hanging out in open patches between thickets of tall brush or under trees. Those tend to like areas with lots of available cover, and will often dive into or fly through bushes or trees when you get too close.

 
Zayante Grasshopper :-)

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