Sonoran Desert Orthoptera

Most orthopterans are plant feeders and get their food by chewing the leaves or epidermis of Sonoran Desert plants. A few are detritivores and others are carnivorous. Many can stridulate and thus make calling noises. Immature orthoperans look much like the adults, but lack mature wings. The first pair of wings are leathery and are called tegmena. This guide shows only a select few.

Alkali Grasshopper
Anconia integra

Medium-sized grasshopper with large prominent eyes. Tegmina with pale rectangular splotches. Color can be green, brown or grayish. More info

Many Hued Grasshopper
Poecilotettix sanguineus

Gaudily colored. Generally hides in desert shrubs. Medium sized. More info

Humphrey's Grasshopper
Barytettix humphreysii

Adults have short, non-functional wings. Spur-like process on venter between head and thorax. Three dark trapezoids on sides of pronotum. More info

Blue-winged Grasshopper
Leprus intermedius

Mottled with shades of brown and tan. Membraneous wings in flight distinctly blue. Clacking sound when flying. More info

Yarrow's Grasshopper
Melanplus yarrowii

There are many species of Melanoplus spur-throats in Sonoran Desert. Clear yellow-brown with dark lateral marks on pronotum. More info

Pallid-winged Grasshopper
Trimerotropis pallidipennis

Well camouflaged grasshopper often alighting on bare ground and having excellent flight capabilities. Occasionally abundant. More info

Cream Grasshopper
Cibolacris parviceps

In bright sunlight and perched on bleach desert gravel these hoppers make themselves nearly invisible. More info

Aztec Grasshopper
Lactista azteca
photo © by Mike Plagens

Small agile grasshopper that disappears after alighting among rocks. Hind wings (concealed) marked with yellow and gray. More info

Ash-Gray Range Grasshopper
Horesidotes cinereus

This is one of the 'slant-faced' grasshopper so-called based on the head profile. More info

Horse Lubber Grasshopper
Taeniopoda eques

Black with gaudy markings in green and yellow. Underwings are pink. Very large and robust. Southeast Arizona only. More info

Tropical House Cricket
Gryllodes sigillatus

Common to abundant cricket mostly in urban settings often taking up residence in homes and warehouses. Adult males chirp almost incessantly with nightfall. More info

Jerusalem Cricket

Adults are large with a strong convex head and thorax. Without wings the segmented abdomen is exposed. Eats other insects. More info

Tree Cricket
Oecanthus sp.
photo © by Mike Plagens

Delicate green with gossamer wings. Long hair-like antennae. Inhabits shrubs and trees; hides well. Several similar species. More info

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Gray Bird Grasshopper
Schistocerca nitens

Large gray grasshopper with long wings. Long distance flier. Spur-like process on venter between head and thorax. Occasionally common. More info

Spotted Bird Grasshopper
Schistocerca lineata

Large green or brown grasshopper with distinct pale line down top-center. Small yellow spots on sides of thorax. Solid color eyes?? More info

Green Bird Grasshopper
Schistocerca shoshone

Large, mostly green. Feeds on a variety of desert shrubs. Eyes with verticle banding?? More info

Desert Clicker
Ligurotettix coquilletti

Hides within desert shrubs, esp. Creosote Bush. Males produce incessant clicking sound in heat of day. More info

Red-shanked Grasshopper
Xanthippus corallipes

Intricately marked tegmina. Relatively large and robust. Legs reddish. More info

Shield-backed Katydid
Capnobotes fuliginosus
 © by Mike Plagens

Light tan to brown with long legs and sharp mandibles. Long thread-like antennae. Large. Largely nocturnal. More info

Thread-Legged Katydid
Arethaea sp.
photo © by Mike Plagens

Long legs capable of jumping on a slender. leaf-like insect. More info

Elegant Bush Katydid
Insara elegans

Banded white and green. Long hair-like antennae. Feeds on in various shrubs. More info

Creosote Bush Katydid
Insara covilleae

Boldly marked, but nearly invisible in its creosote bush environment. Long, fine antennae. More info

Mexican Bush Katydid
Scudderia mexicana

Long, slender, green to brownish. Forewings often shorter than hindwings. Long hair-like antennae. Feeds on in various shrubs. More info

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2017.