Most prevalent in the central U.S., this grasshopper has distinguishing chevron stripes on its 'thighs'. The black pattern is not unique to this species, but it is rare to see on other grasshoppers. The back legs also have spines on them. Like other grasshoppers, this one has short, horned antennae and produces a buzzing noise by rubbing the hind wings against the forewings. The tan and black coloring helps it blend in with the tall dry grasses that they eat.
This species is well-adapted to urban living and can make a home in empty lots, gardens and overgrown areas. They also live in meadows, grasslands, and other open areas. Females lay eggs in large quantities and the larvae hatch in spring.
Adults are most active in the summer and are social, often moving around with other types of grasshoppers. They can be considered agricultural pests because they feed on crops such as corn, grapes, alfalfa and fruits. Their incessant chewing on plant parts ruins harvests. They also feed on ragweed (an allergen to many people) so they can be beneficial in a sense as well.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Differential 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 Differential Grasshopper. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.