Spharagemon collare (Scudder)

 
Adult male Adult female

Common name - Mottled sand grasshopper (Heifer, 1972).

Geographic distribution - southern Ontario to Alberta (Canada), Montana and Wyoming. South to the Gulf coast, Utah and southeastern Arizona (Brooks, 1958). Its Colorado range is primarily from the eastern plains to the mountain foothills (Hebard, 1929).

Colorado Distribution Map

Habitat - sparsely vegetated, sandy areas and areas of short grass (Hebard, 1928; Mulkern et al., 1969).

Food habits - eats grasses especially the spikelets. Preferred grasses are western wheatgrass, blue grama, needleandthread and sand dropseed. It also shows carnivorous tendencies (Gangwere, 1961; Ueckert and Hansen, 1971).

Eggs - eggs are pinkish to pale tan. Pods contain 22 eggs in two or three disorderly columns. Average egg length, 5 mm; average diameter, 1.2 mm (Onsager and Mulkern, 1963).

Nymph - five instars (Ramsey, 1964).

Adult - medium to large size. General color is grayish-brown with small dark brown patches. Face is vertical and speckled. Vertex is rounded. Antennae are slender. Dorsal posterior margin of pronotum is an acute angle. Median carina is a sharp ridge cut by a deep, narrow sulcus. Tegmina are opaque with three dark, indistinct bands. Wings are yellow with black and clear apex. Inner face of hind femora has three black bands; bands are faintly indicated on outer face. Hind tibiae are red-orange. Male length, 32 mm; female, 36 mm (Ball et al., 1942).
 
Pronotum (Side view) Tegmen Wing

Oviposition - females deposit eggs close to vegetation in sandy soil and on pocket gopher mounds (Griddle, 1918; Criddle, 1933a).

Seasonal history - adults are present from late July to mid-October (Newton et al., 1954).

Abundance and importance - generally restricted in habitat and rarely numerous (Mulkern et al., 1969).

S. collare fact sheet from the Field Guide to Common Western Grasshoppers
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