Grasshoppers are in the order Orthoptera and the family Acrididae with about five subfamilies in our area. Slant-faced, Spur-throated, Stridulating, Band-winged and Lubber Grasshoppers. See the Eastern Grasshopper list here. Will attempt to show some of the adult forms here on this page. The nymphal forms remain confusing and not well documented for many species. I could just grab some and raise them I suppose but so far I have not. Norm Lavers has been attempting to sort these out for the state and his area. Some of his shots are included below as well. I have about 55 to 60 species possible for AR but that is certainly not set in stone. See the Katydid page here also.

This male hopper is in the Spur-throated group. In fact, I can see the cerci here and specifically state this is Keeler's Spurthoarted Grasshopper, Melanoplus keeleri. With about 30+ species in the east this is a huge grasshopper genus. Several of our species have very red tibial lines as you see here. The split femur color upper and lower may also be distinct. Shot taken at Camp Robinson WDA.

One of the more common Melanoplus species in the east is M. differentialis. The Differential Grasshopper. A hefty bodied hopper, with a black herringbone pattern on the femur. This is one of the largest Melanoplus and is very variable in overall color.

You can see the olive green form here. Still with the nice herringbone femur. Nervous for the camera, I think he threw up a little. This is a significant crop pest and likely tough on garden flowers as well. This was taken near the river at Toadsuck park.

Breeders, showing the large sexual difference in size. I believe these are also Melanoplus, and the other common species, M. bivittatus, the Two-striped Grasshopper. Prefers tall lush vegetation and disturbed sites. Note that striped extending back from over the eye and in the male the yellow slash on the side.

And a female, from Norm, that I originally placed as another female Two-stripe. This was taken in the Big Bend Texas area. Very different colors overall. And the bright red tibias are unusual. Turns out it is called Thomas' Two-Striped Grasshopper, M. thomasi. The two species don't overlap but seem to be related. Capinera may not believe in it as it is not mentioned. Oh well, who said hoppers were easy?

A probable Melanoplus, one of the short winged adults. Pretty short antenna here. Current best guess was M. scudderi. But seemed wrong compared to the definite scudderi below. Norm thinks it is the Huckleberry Spurthroated, M. fasciatus, which will occur in his corner of the state. 

And yet another Melanoplus with that Melanoplian form. This is the Red-legged Grasshopper, M. femurrubrum. Found over virtually the whole US. And one of the commonest species overall. Just having red tibias does not define it but it has strongly marked ones. As well as long antenna.

And what appears to be a much more probable Melanoplus scudderi, another short winged form adult. Supposed to be a late season species. 

And what Norm thought was the matching female M. scudderi.

And Norm's close male scudderi terminus showing the cerci and endplate.

The Melanoplus, as I said, can get scary. This is the Two-spined Spurthroated, M. bispinosus, known for the double spines at the rear of the male on the endplate.

There were many apparent Two-spined Spurthroateds, at Holla Bend in August 2011. This one is still staring at its former self.

The said spines on the upper part of the male endplate in close up from the shot above. Diagnostic.

This hopper was photographed in my yard on Round Mountain and it seemed to puzzle one of the bugguide hopper guys. I think this is an adult and I did grab one to prove it had a spur on its throat. I believe it is Melanoplus and specifically the unusually marked M. punctulatus, the Pinetree Spurthroated Grasshopper. Note the dark spotting and the lack of a dark line behind the eye. Also the long wings.

This is Norm's much browner hopper that originally was mistaken for a Pinetree. An expert above us believes it is a Melanoplus ponderosus, the Ponderous Spurthroated Grasshopper

The genus of Spurthroat that is closely related to the Melanoplus. This is in Paroxya. And Capinera has three eastern species with the only map coming into Norm's area being P. atlantica. I don't think this is atlantica. Norm thought it was hoosieri, but this species is known nowhere near AR. Mainly because of Capinera's comment about wing length in this genus which looks to be erroneous. The maps for clavuliger however swing very close to northeastern Arkansas. That would be the Olive-Green Swamp Grasshopper. And by the cerci visible in this male I think this is likely the animal. I have no cerci images for hoosieri. I await that information.

The grasshopper that, as I type this, Norm and I are still discussing. He felt it was another Paroxya. I cannot make it into one. And then he suggested Hesperotettix viridis and I think he has hit the target. The Meadow Purple-striped Grasshopper. The terminus is unfortunately hidden in vegetation. It does appear to be an adult.

And really, one of my favorite hoppers so far. This is certainly in the genus Mermiria and we only have two here in the state. These are in the Stridulating subfamily. This is M. bivittata, the Two-striped Mermiria Grasshopper. Strictly grass feeders and more common in the plains. This one was at the open fields of Camp Robinson, a hopper wonderland.

And the 2011 version from Camp. One of the commonest hoppers there in July. I actually watched one make its stridulating cricket-like noise.

And I decided after severe deliberation that this must be the female Mermiria of the same species. She was larger and significantly less colorful than the above two and they are definite males.

A Mermiria from Florida which makes it M. intertexta, the Eastern Mermiria. Greener in the book and greener here. Similar overall.

I was impressed with this one. Also at Camp in July. This is the Handsome Grasshopper, Syrbula admirabilis. And these can be much more beautiful than this brownish form. Very slant-faced and in the stridulating and slant-faced groups. Note the antenna thickening distally with some darkening. And the very nice facial markings with the teardrop eye pointed towards the antenna. They have a marked sexual size difference.

And anyone should be impressed with the female Handsome. Love that scalloped row on the wings and the green offset with creams and browns.

Compare with the Spotted-wing Grssshopper, Orphulella pelidna. Sometimes confused with the Handsome, it is a widespread hopper across the US but apparently never in dense populations. Very similar to the Pasture Grasshopper the other Orphulella in our area.

And a bit more difficult species with short wings in the adult form, this is the Short-winged Green Grasshopper, Dichromorpha viridis. Unfortunately occasional long winged forms occur. And it comes in brown and green versions. Face not as slanted as many in this group. Males do stridulate. 

And the most slant-faced of them all, the Long-headed Toothpick Grasshopper from Florida in Eric's landscape. Not pictured with this much green in Capinera but certainly Achurum carinatum. Very small wings as adults.

The unusual and separately placed Clipped-wing Grasshopper, Metaleptea brevicornis. It is in its own little group of silent slant-faced hoppers. This is a male, and they usually are green over brown. Females are more variable.

There are five Bird Grasshoppers in the state. (They are also Spur-throats.) Though mostly we think of two species. What may be the most common is the American Bird Grasshopper, Schistocerca americana. Flying all the way through our winters. The bird-like flighty hopper of the open fields. I assume they are pretty variable. This seems like a somewhat muted one. I will add more shots when I can.

Norm's much more typically marked American Bird. The insect that often surprises you walking a field on a warm day in January looking for birds. The full adults are very large insects. Can becoming a swarming insect almost like a locust swarming species when food is abundant. 

And a April specimen of the American Bird from the rocky slopes at Bell. May have been an overwintering adult. 

As with many hoppers, the American Bird goes through multiple molts and each one can look very different. This is an early molt of the American.  

This is the Mischievous Bird Grasshopper, Schistocerca damnifica. Has an elevated medial ridge on the pronotum and no lined stripe down the back. Does not fly in winter in AR.

The top side of the Mischievous. Looks rather regal really despite the muted browns and reds.

And my own Mischievous from the Camp Robinson WDA several years ago. Unknown to me until now.

And another bird. The Leather-Colored. S. alutacea.  Very variable in color. Inhabits open woods and wood margins through most of the east.

The elegant Obscure Bird Grasshopper, S. obscurus. Note those yellow antenna. And the central racing stripe.

The fairly amazing Band-winged member. This is Trimerotropis saxatilis, the Lichen Grasshopper. Which is not even mentioned in Capinera. (??). We had no idea it occurred anywhere near here until we shot some on top of Petit Jean Mountain in the very rocky lichenified Seven Hollows trail. David Ferguson informed us that these western animals actually had an extended range over into OK, AR MO, TN and into GA. Usually in higher elevation rocky outcrops with lichen. The camouflage is truly impressive when you see them in the correct habitat.

And a sandy shore Band-wing from the Toadsuck beaches. I am still not sure I know which species this is. But it is most likely Trimerotropis maritima, the Seaside Grasshopper, which is a sand lover and is often found adjacent to rivers. It is a fairly close match. I don't recall the wing colors unfortunately.

Another unusual Bandwing. This is the Wrinkled Grasshopper, Hippiscus ocelote. Note the X on the top of the thorax. And the nice leopard spots on the wings. As well as that heavy appearing head. Loves grass pastures and is mainly a grass feeder.

And the close head shot from Norm of a Wrinkled, showing, well, the wrinkles.

A striking October Band-wing from Petit Jean. The high ridged pronotum is fairly distinct. This is Arphia xanthoptera, the Autumn Yellow-Winged Grasshopper. Dark bodied and flashy, and it was pretty common along the trail in the fall.

A fairly common species of Band-wing with two significantly different forms shown here and below. This is Chortophaga viridifasciata, the Northern Green-Striped Grasshopper. Sometimes abundant in grassy fields with both forms occurring together. Note the pale line through the eye and the short antenna.

And what I thought was a brown form from Toadsuck fields in 2011.

And the greenish form of the Green-Striped. You can still see the wing pattern and the line through the eye.

And the most common Band-wing in my area is the Carolina Grasshopper, Dissosteira carolina. Very mud colored here in mating. Flashy wings in flight and a stalled fluttering flight display that they perform frequently in my front yard.

A fine and almost distinctive bandwing. This is Norm's Three-Banded Range Grasshopper, Hadrotettix trifaciatus. A grassland lover. Inner femora are bluish and wing in flight is yellow and black banded.

The Kiowa Rangeland Grasshopper, Trachyrhachys kiowa,  female doing some egglaying in a soil pit like many hoppers do. A sandy or barren area hopper that mostly feeds on grasses. Yellow-winged with blue tibias that are hidden here.

The Orange-winged Grasshopper, Pardalophora phoenicoptera, has overwintering large nymphs so appears fairly early in the year. Likes open sandy areas as well. The close species in the genus are similar. This species has strong blue color on the inner femur. The nymphal series has strong orange tibias even from the early stages.

Also comes in a fine brown package. The bright orange tibias are visible here. Note the two toned light to dark antenna.

A nice bandwing from Florida. This is Spharagemon marmorata, the Marbled Grasshopper. Mostly east coastal, Florida and into the Great Lake shores.

Then there are the Lubbers, in their own group and some quite impressive. This is the Horse Lubber, Taeniopoda eques. From the SW region. Lives in desert scrub and oak, often near mesquite. Amazing things. 

And nymphal Lubbers, which are so distinct, it is hard to mistake them for anything else.

The Plains Lubber, Brachystola magna from the SW. Very few animals to confuse this with in that area. Taken in the Guadalupe Mountains of west Texas.

The Eastern Lubber, Romelea microptera, from Florida. The distinctive large bodied hopper from the SE region. Not mistakable even in Florida's rich hopper landscape.