by Carl Strang
As I mentioned in the last post, grasshoppers pose problems different from other groups of singing insects. First, most of them don’t qualify as singing insects. Second, those that sing seldom do. Surveying them therefore must be on a visual rather than a hearing basis. Finally, even the visual approach isn’t simple. There are a lot of grasshopper species, sometimes distinguished by tiny structural features. A complete series of photos may be needed to assure an identification. You need every view, above, below, from the side, being sure to get good dorsal and lateral views of the end of the abdomen. Band-winged grasshoppers need to be captured and the wings spread. Also, the color of the hind tibia often is important. All of this was the lesson from grasshopper photos I took in Jasper, Pulaski and Starke Counties, Indiana, last week.
Some grasshoppers are relatively large and spectacular. The bird grasshoppers are the largest I have found to date in the region.
The remaining grasshoppers I photographed apparently are all in the enormous spur-throated grasshopper group. Their identifications I think are correct, but a few more photos of certain parts of them would have helped.