Despite the geographic specificity of its scientific and common names, the Carolina grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina) can be found in every state of the contiguous United States and adjacent provinces of Canada. Its large size, cryptic coloration with yellow hind wings, tendency of males to crepitate during flight (a snapping or crackling sound made by rubbing the under surface of the forewings against the veins of the hind wings), and distinctively chunky nymphs would normally be enough to attract a lot of attention were it not also among the most overwhelmingly ubiquitous of grasshoppers throughout much of its range. I could give all sorts of information about its food habits, migration and dispersal behavior, daily activities, etc., but this would be redundant given the excellent Species Fact Sheet that has been generated for it by the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station (Pfidt 1996).
This individual was found in a soybean field in Jersey Co., Illinois. They are extremely wary and perhaps the most difficult-to-approach grasshopper I’ve encountered yet. Considering my particular fascination with oedipodine grasshoppers, I felt compelled to take some photographs—but, my God, there are already a godzillion photos of this species on the web. I decided to limit myself to this one rather unusual perspective and leave it at that!
Pfidt, R. E. 1996. Carolina Grasshopper Dissosteira carolina (Linnaeus). Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 912, Species Fact Sheet, 4 pp.
Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2011