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Painted Grasshopper (Dactylotum bicolor)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Painted Grasshopper

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Image Credit: Raf E. taken in the Guadelupe Mountains, NM
Full-sized image of the Painted-Grasshopper Thumbnail image of the Painted-Grasshopper

Showcasing the colors of a summer sunset, it seems fitting that the Painted Grasshopper is native to the western part of the continent.

Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The multicolored Painted Grasshopper goes by many names, each attempting to be as descriptive as words allow for such a spectacle. Rainbow Grasshopper, Pictured Grasshopper, and Barber Pole Grasshopper are a few examples. Regardless of what they are called, they sport magnificently detailed patterns all over their bodies. The head has hues of orange-red while the abdomen is yellow. The legs have a chevron pattern on the sides while the abdomen has bands. Small wings cover the middle of the body.

This species is active from spring through half of autumn. Eggs laid late in the fall overwinter and emerge as adults in the spring. Two generations can be produced each year in warmer regions. Look for Painted Grasshoppers in brush, grasslands, chaparral, prairies and deserts with a little vegetation.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Jumping insect icon
Patterned insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Orthoptera
        Family: Acrididae
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          Genus: Dactylotum
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            Species: bicolor
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Dactylotum bicolor
Other Name(s): Rainbow Grasshopper, Barber Pole Grasshopper, Uncle Sam Grasshopper, Pictured Grasshopper
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 35mm (0.78" to 1.37")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: orange, yellow, black
Descriptors: multicolored, colorful, jumping, patterned, weird

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 20mm (0.8in) and 35mm (1.4in)
Lo: 20mm
Md: 27.5mm
Hi: 35mm
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 Painted 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 Painted Grasshopper. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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