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Spotted Bird Grasshopper

Schistocerca lineata

 

Spotted Bird Grasshopper, Schistocerca lineata, photo © by Mike Plagens

This Spotted Bird Grasshopper was photographed along Camp Creek and was feeding on the leaves of Canyon Ragweed (Ambrosia ambrosioides). August 2008.

Acrididae -- Grasshopper Family

Bird Grasshoppers are among the largest grasshoppers in the Sonoran Desert. The lubber grasshoppers are bulkier but are more typical of southeastern Arizona habitats. Bird grasshoppers feed on a variety of plants and can sometimes strip plants in urban Sonoran Desert gardens. There is a prominent spur on the underside of the throat. With long wings these grasshoppers can sometimes take on long dispersal flights in search of food sources occasionally arriving in cities or farm fields in response to drying of their natural habitats.

The color variations within Schistocerca spp. are considerable. S. lineata is known to exist in both green and brown forms. An opinion has been expressed that the illustrated specimen could actually be an intermediate with the related species, S. shoshone. The Gray Bird Grasshopper and the White-lined Bird Grasshopper can also be found occasionally in the Sonoran Desert region.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2008