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Grasshoppers of Wyoming and the West

Entomology

Spharagemon equale (Say)

Common name - Say's grasshopper (Heifer, 1972).

Geographic distribution - British Columbia (Canada), South Dakota, southern Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah (Brooks, 1958). Colorado range is from the eastern plains to the eastern mountain foothills (Hebard, 1929).

Colorado Distribution Map

Habitat - sandy areas with scattered, short, dry grasses (Hebard, 1928; Somes, 1914).

Food habits - feeds on mixed grasses and forbes. Its preferred foods are members of the mustard family. It also has been observed feeding on milkvetch, sunsedge, blue grama, scurfpea, common starkly, fringed sage and fourwing saltbush (Kumar et al., 1976; Mulkern et al., 1969).

Eggs - eggs are light brown. Each pod has 24 eggs arranged in three or four columns. Average egg length, 5 mm; average diameter, 1.3 mm (Onsager and Mulkern, 1963).

Nymph - five instars (Ramsey, 1964).

Adult - medium to large size. General color is grayish-brown with darker brown markings. Face is vertical. Vertex is rounded. Antennae are slender. Dorsal posterior edge of pronotum is a right angle. Median carina is visible but not a sharp ridge. It is cut in the middle by a small notch that is shallow in comparison with the pronotal notch of Spharagemon collare. Tegmina have three moderately distinct, dark brown bands. Wings are yellow to almost white with a large, dark crossband and a clear apex. Inner faces of hind femora have three black bands; bands are faintly visible on outer face. Hind tibiae are red-orange. Male length, 25 to 32 mm; female, 30 to 40 mm (Brooks, 1958).
S. equale is alert, active and strong in flight. Upon landing it immediately runs along the ground. It is sluggish in the early morning or late evening. Adults can be seen congregated in small groups on vegetation-free areas. They fly away when frightened, but quickly reassemble (Anderson,1952; Somes, 1914).

Seasonal history - adults can be found from early July to mid-September (Gillette, 1904).

Abundance and importance - a restricted range and seldom numerous (Mulkern et al., 1969)

S. equale fact sheet from the Field Guide to Common Western Grasshoppers
Next Species: Trachyrhachys aspera
Previous Species: Spharagemon collare
Biology of Common Colorado Grasshoppers List
Biology of Common Collorado Grasshoppers
Grasshoppers of Colorado Contents

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