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Carolina Locust (Dissosteira carolina)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Carolina Locust

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Image Credit: Ian T., taken in Toronto, ON
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The Carolina Locust is a large herbivore that can decimate swaths of commercial crops, leaving economic ruin in its wake.

Updated: 01/03/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Carolina Locust is a type of Short-horned Grasshopper and can be identified by its short antennae. A rough-looking exterior is greenish-brown with speckles of dark along its wings. Carolina Locusts produce noticeable sounds, but only when in flight. It is a decent flyer despite its erratic flight paths. They are large and may look like a heavy, strange butterfly when flying. As with most insect species, the female Carolina Grasshopper is larger than the male. Her coloring is generally on the darker side with the occasional yellow flourish. Both genders have eyes that are colored like the rest of their exterior.

Found throughout North America, the Carolina Locust is generally regarded as the least destructive of the Locust family in the United States, but it still remains a force to be reckoned with. Like other locusts, it eats a variety of plants and grasses, even ones humans like such as clover, sunflowers, and corn. The natural habitat for this insect is in open fields and meadows, particularly in drier areas. They also thrive in more urban environments like open lots, roadsides, and quarries.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Carolina-Locust

grass; plants; beans
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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Harmful insect icon
Jumping insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Orthoptera
        Family: Acrididae
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          Genus: Dissosteira
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            Species: carolina

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Dissosteira carolina
Other Name(s): Carolina Grasshopper
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 35mm to 50mm (1.37" to 1.96")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; brown; yellow
Descriptors: large; flying; harmful; jumping

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 35mm (1.4in) and 50mm (2.0in)
Lo: 35mm
Md: 42.5mm
Hi: 50mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Carolina Locust 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 Carolina Locust. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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