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Aztec Spur-throat Grasshopper (Aidemona azteca)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Aztec Spur-throat Grasshopper

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Image Credit: Valerie S., taken in Austin, TX
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Found in the U.S. Southwest and Mexico, the colors of the Aztec Spur-throat change from bold to bland as it grows and matures.

Updated: 11/30/2023; Authored By ; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The colorful body of this small species of grasshopper is striking, and the stripe patterns amplify the effect. It is difficult to miss the young grasshopper's red legs and black body. Yellow stripes cross the lower part of the insect. The yellow lines cover the face and converge at the middle 'back'. The hump on its back flattens out as an adult. The mature adult is brown to brownish-gray and looks more like a typical grasshopper. Spur-throat Grasshoppers have a peg-like protrusion that sticks out from the 'neck'.

Look for this species during spring and summer, when its colorful instars (growth phases) make it stand out among foliage. Areas with some vegetation that also have some kind of consistent water source are the best places to start looking for them. Even when dry, creek beds may harbor a population. This species is not known to be a pest even though many may be found in a single area.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect antennae icon
Fast insect icon
Jumping insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Orthoptera
        Family: Acrididae
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          Genus: Aidemona
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            Species: azteca

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Aidemona azteca
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 40mm (0.59" to 1.57")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; red; yellow; brown; gray
Descriptors: stripes; multicolored; small; hopping; jumping; fast; short antennae; colorful

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 15mm (0.6in) and 40mm (1.6in)
Lo: 15mm
Md: 27.5mm
Hi: 40mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Aztec Spur-throat Grasshopper may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Aztec Spur-throat Grasshopper. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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