Hesperotettix viridis (Scudder)

Adult male Adult female

Common name - Green-streak grasshopper (Ball et al., 1942).

Geographic distribution - found throughout the United States although subspecies differ in their distribution. It is found throughout Colorado but is recovered most frequently in the eastern part of the state.

Colorado Distribution Map

Habitat - low, marshy meadows (Froeschner, 1954).

Food habits - an oligophagous feeder, feeding only on a select few plants in a geographic area. In Arizona H. viridis is known to feed on snakeweed, burrow weed and rabbit brush. In Idaho it eats plants of the composite family, especially goldenrod and western ragweed (Ball, 1936; Brusven, 1972).

Eggs - eight to 18 eggs are laid in two columns. Color is tan. Average egg length, 4.5 mm; average diameter, 1.1 mm (Onsager and Mulkern, 1963).

Nymph - five instars (Brusven, 1972).

Adult - medium size. General color is green. Face is somewhat slanted back. Vertex is rounded and very narrow between the eyes. Antennae are slender. Pronotum is long and slender, the sides almost parallel when viewed from above. Pronotum may have black transverse incisions (subspecies viridis) and a pale streak along the median carina. Tegmina and hind wings are narrow. Tegmina are opaque, pale green, clear at the tip with a pale longitudinal streak in subspecies viridis. Streak may be absent and tegmen tip darker in other subspecies. Wings are clear. Front and middle femora often are tinted with orange. Hind femora have orange band near knee. Hind tibiae are light blue-green. Male length, 16 to 20 mm; female, 25 mm (Somes, 1914).
Male abdomen tip (Side view) Male abdomen tip (Top view)
Head, pronotum, and tegmina (Common) Head, pronotum, and tegmina (Possible)

Oviposition - female digs into soil by holding onto an upright plant and sitting erect. Eggs are deposited while sitting up with the hind femora held at a sharp angle (Criddle, 1933a.)

Seasonal history - adults are present from August through October (Van Horn, 1972).

Abundance and importance - common throughout the Great Plains. It generally causes little damage and may even increase the quality of rangeland in some areas by its feeding habits (Hubbel, 1922a; Brusven, 1972).

H. viridis fact sheet from the Field Guide to Common Western Grasshoppers
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Biology of Common Colorado Grasshoppers
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