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Common name - Red shanks (Ball et al., 1942).
Geographic distribution - British Columbia to Manitoba (Canada), Oregon, Texas, Minnesota and lowa (Heifer,
1972). There are four major subspecies of Xanthippus corallipes. Their range differs somewhat. Size and color pattern is variable among them and
even within a subspecies. However, distinctive looking populations develop in different
habitats. The Colorado range differs for the four subspecies:
Xanthippus corallipes pantherinus—Great Plains of southern Colorado;
Xanthippus corallipes latefasciatus—Great Plains of north and central Colorado:
Xanthippus corallipes leprous—mountain foothills;
Xanthippus corallipes altivolus—foothills to timberline (Hebard, 1929).
Habitat - dry, sandy areas, clay or gravel (Criddle, 1933a).
Food habits - feeds on grasses, especially western wheatgrass, needleandthread, blue grama and sixweeks fescue. Western wheatgrass is a consistently preferred food of adults. It also has been observed feeding on sunsedge, cheatgrass brome, sand dropseed, needleandthread and smooth brome (Kumar et al., 1976; Ueckert and Hansen, 1971).
Eggs - 30 brown eggs are deposited in three or four columns in a pod. Average egg length, 6.1 mm; average diameter, 1.7 mm (Onsager and Mulkern, 1963).
Nymph - five instars (Scoggan and Brusven, 1972). Five instars (male), six instars (female) (Pickford, 1953).
Adult - medium to large size. General color is tan. Face is vertical, and vertex is rounded.
Antennae are slender. Head and pronotum are roughly textured. Dorsal posterior margin
of pronotum is a right angle. Tegmina have definite brown splotches. Wings are pink,
orange or yellow with a dark band near the middle, and the apex is clear. Outer face
of hind femora has definite brown splotches. Innerface of hind femora is red. Hind
tibiae are orange (Ball et al., 1942; Froeschner, 1954; Helfer, 1972).
Flight is loud (Criddle, 1933a.)
Oviposition - X. c. pantherinus deposits eggs in calcareous soil usually on hilltops and ridges (Isely, 1938).
Seasonal history - adults are found from early May to late July (Ueckert, 1971). The subspecies X. c. latefasciatus has a two-year life cycle, the first winter passing in the egg and the second winter as a late instar nymph (Banfill and Brusven, 1973; Hewiit and Barr, 1967).
Abundance and importance - X. corallipes is common and destructive on grasslands (Heifer, 1972).
X. corallipes fact sheet from the Field Guide to Common Western Grasshoppers
Previous Species: Tropidolophus formosus
Biology of Common Colorado Grasshoppers List
Biology of Common Colorado Grasshoppers
Grasshoppers of Colorado Contents