Short-Horned Grasshoppers
Family Acrididae

* Most of our common grasshoppers are in this family, including the spur-throated, the slant-faced, and the band-winged grasshoppers.
* Antennae short, many-segmented.
* Tarsi 3-segmented.
* 2 pairs of well-developed wings, folded fan-like at rest
* Chewing mouth parts.
* Body length: 1-2".

Natural History:
* Habitat: Meadows, lawns, near ponds, near cultivated plants.
* Range: Throughout the United States and Canada.
* Noise: A singing noise produced when one body part is rubbed against another; some species snap their wings together in flight, while others rub their hind legs against their front wings.
* Behavior: Often migrate in swarms.
* Native.

* One now-extinct species of Acrididae, the Rocky Mountain locust, once caused an epic invasion of the Rocky Mountain region. In the 1870's, millions and millions of the insects darkened the skies of Colorado, Montana, Kansas, and Nebraska for hours at a time, and then descended on areas of vegetation and consumed everything green in sight. They were such a problem that Kansas passed a Grasshopper Act in 1877, requiring every able-bodied man between 12 and 65 to be ready to gather locusts at any time. Having had their last hoorah, the species became extinct soon after. The last specimen was found in Manitoba in 1902.

* A bas-relief from 700 B.C.E. shows servants of King Sennacherib of Assyria carrying skewered locusts for a feast.


Created by: Niki Zhou and Carla Holleran
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: June 25, 2004
Last Modified: August 7, 2004
Expries: June 1, 2005