Schistocerca americana

American Bird Grasshopper

American Bird Grasshopper, Schistocerca americana


Family: Acrididae

Subfamily: Cyrtacanthacridinae

Length: Males 39-52 mm. Females 49-68 mm


Like most of their namesakes, the American bird grasshoppers are strong fliers and can fly a good distance. Like Biblical locusts, these grasshoppers sometimes mass together and coordinate their flights, causing serious crop damage.

The species overwinters in the adult stage, and is occasionally found basking in the sun on a warm winter day.

One key trait of Schistocerca americana is the yellow to cream stripe that is on the dorsum of the head and pronotum continuing to the rear.

The range includes the far south of Manitoba and Ontario, south into the eastern United States, the U.S. Great Plains, and still further south into Mexico and Central America.

Photo data: 21 May 2003. Mississippi Sandhill Cranes National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi.

A congener is also pictured on this site, Schistocera flavofasciata.