A few New Mexico insects: Grasshoppers and their kin

(Orthoptera)

 

Insects are shown alphabetically within taxonomic level. If you see an error, please let me know via the contact tab at the top of the page.


Acrididae: Wrangler Grasshopper (Circotettix rabula)

Wrangler Grasshopper, Circotettix rabula, New Mexico
Ellis Trail (fire break), upper Sandia Mountains, June 2020

According to the Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains, "The Wrangler grasshopper ... attracts attention on warm summer days because the males perform mating flights where they hover above the ground making loud snapping and cracking sounds." That's how this grasshopper got our attention. The Field Guide goes on to state, "These grasshoppers prefer high-elevation open rocky areas," which characterizes much of the Ellis Trail.

 

Acrididae: Carolina Grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina)

Carolina Grasshopper, Dissosteira carolina, New Mexico
Rio Grande Bosque, Albuquerque, August 2020

I first saw this grasshopper on the fly, and its dark wing patches gave away the ID. 

 

Acrididae: Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis)

Differential Grasshopper, Melanoplus differentialis, New Mexico
Rio Grande Bosque, Albuquerque, October 2020

 

Acrididae: Mischievous Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca damnifica)

Mischievous Bird Grasshopper, Schistocerca damnifica, New Mexico
Albuquerque, July 2020

My tentative identification of the species for this grasshopper relies heavily on the uniform coloration.

 

Tettigoniidae: Katydid nymph

Tettigoniidae, Katydid nymph
Albuquerque, August 2020

When I took this picture I thought it was of an assassin bug. Looking at the robust upper hind legs and delicate forelegs, among other things, I'm identifying it as a young katydid nymph. Some species in the family have evolved to mimic assassin bugs when a young nymph, and this seems to be one of those cases. No idea which species (there are more than 6,400 worldwide) or even which genus.

 

Tettigoniidae: Two-Lined Shieldback (Eremopedes bilineatus)

Two-Lined Shieldback Katydid, Eremopedes bilineatus, New Mexico
Male on dead thistle, west foothills of the Sandia Mountains, August 2020

The two short brown "horns" at the end of the abdomen mark this katydid as a male. The abdomens of the females have long pointy extensions.

 

Tettigoniidae: Angle-Wing Katydid (Microcentrum)

Angle-Wing Katydid, Microcentrum, New Mexico
Albuquerque, July 2020

I found this katydid dying on my front porch one morning. It was lying in a 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide grout channel, which provides a scale.