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Green-striped Grasshopper

Chortophaga viridifasciata

What do they look like?

Green-striped grasshoppers are between 23-38 millimeters long. Males are 23-30 mm long, while the larger females are 28-38 mm long. Males are often brown in color and females are often green. Some may be tan in color. Males often have larger heads and thicker legs. Females have thicker, longer abdomens compared to males. Adults have yellowish wings that are smokey near the tips. They have a green or brown stripe close to the border of their front wings. Their pronota (plates on the thorax) are ridged. Green-striped grasshoppers have compound eyes and antennae that are brownish in color. Nymphs in their first three stages of growth are green in color. (Coin, 2005)

Southern populations have bolder patterns. They may have dark bars stretching across their front wings and upper hind legs. The smokey color near the tips of their wings is darker than those from northern populations. (Coin, 2005)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • female larger
  • sexes colored or patterned differently
  • sexes shaped differently

Where do they live?

Chortophaga viridifasciata, commonly known as green-striped grasshoppers, are found throughout North America. Their range stretches from New Brunswick and Georgia west to Arizona, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. They may be found in Mexico and as far south as Costa Rica. They may be found in isolated colonies west of the Rockies in areas used for agriculture. (Brust, et al., 2008)

What kind of habitat do they need?

Green-striped grasshoppers like to live in moist habitats. They can be found near roadsides, hay meadows, pastures, and sunny areas of grass. They can be found in many moist, sunny, grassy areas in the eastern parts of their range. Their habitats are less common in the western parts of their range due to their preference for moist habitats. (Brust, et al., 2008; Coin, 2005)

  • These animals are found in the following types of habitat
  • temperate

How do they grow?

Green-striped grasshoppers develop and mature at the same pace. Most grasshoppers pass through their life stages at the same time. Females lay eggs in the spring. Most eggs hatch within a two week period in the middle of July. Nymphs grow slowly in the northern part of their range and faster in the south. They pass through five stages of development. Nymphs may take up to 100 days to reach their fourth stage. A large number of nymphs enter their fifth stage before spending the in hibernation. Unlike differential grasshoppers, green-striped grasshoppers do not undergo diapause. Nymphs become active again in March. Green-striped grasshoppers go through incomplete metamorphosis to become adults in early April. (Brust, et al., 2008; Hall Bodine, 1932; Pfadt, 1994)

How do they reproduce?

Males make a crackling sound to attract potential mates. Interested females approach males by flying and returning the crackling call. The pair walks and hops towards each other as a courtship ritual. After mating, the female will dig a hole and lay the eggs pods inside of it. Each egg pod contains 25 eggs. (Brust, et al., 2008; Pfadt, 1994)

  • How often does reproduction occur?
    Green-striped grasshoppers breed yearly.
  • Parental Investment
  • no parental involvement

How long do they live?

Adults can be found during the spring and summer in the northern part of their range. In the far south, adults may be found year-round. Green-striped grasshoppers are single-brooded. In the southeast, they may have multiple broods per year. (Coin, 2005)

Green-striped grasshoppers overwinter in their nearly-mature nymphal stage, unlike many other species of grasshoppers. (Coin, 2005; Hall Bodine, 1932)

How do they behave?

Green-striped grasshoppers are mobile in their nymphal and adult stages. They live in large groups. Adults are very strong fliers. (Coin, 2005)

How do they communicate with each other?

Differential grasshoppers have compound eyes. They most likely use touch, sight, hearing, and chemical (smell/taste) methods of perception. Touch, sight, hearing, and chemical methods of communication are possible. (Pfadt, 1994)

What do they eat?

Green-striped grasshoppers mostly eat grasses and succulent plants. They feed on plants species like Kentucky bluegrass, foxtail barley, quackgrass, little bluestem, junegrass, needleleaf sedge, Penn sedge, European sticktight, orchardgrass, poverty oatgrass, annual sowthistle, Johnsongrass, grazing brome, and members of the genus western wheatgrass. (Coin, 2005; Pfadt, 1994)

Green-striped grasshoppers feed on the edge of leaves about halfway up. They may eat through the leaf, hold on to the cut part, and feed it into their mouthparts. (Coin, 2005; Pfadt, 1994)

  • Plant Foods
  • leaves

What eats them and how do they avoid being eaten?

Bristle flies, flesh-eating flies, and parasitic wasps are parasitoids that prey on nymphs and adults. (Coin, 2005; Pfadt, 1994)

What roles do they have in the ecosystem?

Green-striped grasshoppers eat many types of plants, including grasses, crop plants, and succulents. Bristle flies, flesh-eating flies, and parasitic wasps are parasitoids that prey on nymphs and adults. (Amand and Cloyd, 1954; Coin, 2005)

Commensal or parasitic species (or larger taxonomic groups) that use this species as a host

Do they cause problems?

In the eastern part of the United States, green-striped grasshoppers may damage pastures, hayfields, and crops like red clover. They typically damage crops minimally. (Pfadt, 1994)

  • Ways that these animals might be a problem for humans
  • crop pest

Are they endangered?

Contributors

Deena Hauze (author), Animal Diversity Web Staff.

References

Amand, W., W. Cloyd. 1954. Parasitism of the Grasshopper, Chortophaga viridifasciata (Degeer) (Orthoptera: Locustidae), by Dipterous Larvae. The Journal of Parasitology, 40(1): 83-87. Accessed July 03, 2020 at https://www.jstor.org/stable/3274260.

Brust, M., W. Hoback, R. Wright. 2008. A Review of the Genus Chortophaga (Orthoptera: Acrididae) Among Nebraska Populations: Questioning the Validity of Chortophaga australior Rehn and Hebard. Journal of Orthoptera Research, 17(1): 101-105. Accessed July 03, 2020 at https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1162&context=entomologyfacpub.

Coin, P. 2005. "Species Chortophaga viridifasciata - Green-striped Grasshopper" (On-line). Bug Guide. Accessed July 03, 2020 at https://bugguide.net/node/view/16145.

Hall Bodine, J. 1932. Hibernation and Diapause in Certain Orthoptera. II. Response to Temperature during Hibernation and Diapause. Physiological Zoology, 5(4): 538-548. Accessed July 03, 2020 at http://www.jstor.com/stable/30151184.

Niedzlek-Feaver, M. 1995. Crepitation, Pair Formation, and Female Choice in Chortophaga viridifasciata (DeGeer) (Orthoptera: Acrididae). Journal of Orthoptera Research, 4: 131-142. Accessed July 03, 2020 at https://www.jstor.org/stable/3503468.

Pfadt, R. 1994. "Greenstriped Grasshopper Chortophaga viridifasciata (DeGeer)" (On-line). Grasshopper Species Fact Sheets Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin. Accessed July 03, 2020 at https://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/grasshopper/nonkey/html/FactSheets/greenstr.htm.

 
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Hauze, D. 2020. "Chortophaga viridifasciata" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 14, 2021 at http://www.biokids.umich.edu/accounts/Chortophaga_viridifasciata/

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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