Mermiria bivittata (Serville)

 
Adult male Adult female

Common name - Mermiria grasshopper (Heifer, 1972).

Recent synonymy - Mermiria maculipennis Rehn.

Geographic distribution - the prairies and Great Plains from Alberta to Saskatchewan (Canada) and south to Texas, Arizona and Mexico. It also is found in Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and North and South Carolina (Heifer, 1972; Otte, 1981; Tuck and Smith, 1939). In Colorado M. bivittata can be found from the plains to the mountain valleys of the eastern part of the state (Hebard, 1929).

Colorado Distribution Map

Habitat - lush high grasses (Hebard, 1928).

Food habits - a grass feeder, preferring sacaton grass, needleandthread, wheat, rye, oats, wild rye, Johnson grass, prairie sandreed, bluestem and grama grasses (Ball et al., 1942; Brooks, 1958; Ueckert and Hansen, 1971).

Eggs - about 14 eggs are deposited in each pod. Color is white turning dark brown. Average egg length, 7.2 mm; average diameter, 1.5 mm (Ball et al., 1942; Onsager and Mulkern, 1963).

Adult - medium to large size. General color is brownish to greenish, yellowish-brown underneath. Face is strongly slanted. Antennae are long and sword-shaped. Vertex is cone-shaped. Pronotum is slender and without lateral carinae. Dorsal posterior margin of pronotum is rounded. Sides of head and pronotum have a broad, dark stripe. Thorax is slender. Prosternum has a small tubercle. Tegmina are pale with an opaque, yellowish subcostal stripe on the basal third. Wings are clear. Hind legs are long and slender. Hind tibiae are reddish. Male length, 38 mm; female, 51 mm (Ball et al.,1942; Brooks, 1958; Helter, 1972).
 
Head and pronotum (Side view) Pronotum (Top view)

Seasonal history - overwinters as an egg. Adults appear late in July (Anderson and Wright, 1952; Ball et al., 1942).

Abundance and importance - sometimes abundant enough to cause damage to range and cultivated areas (Helter, 1972).

M. bivittata fact sheet from the Field Guide to Common Western Grasshoppers
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Biology of Common Colorado Grasshoppers
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