Green Slant Faced Grasshopper
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – ARCH CREEK MEMORIAL PARK, FL
Photographed is a Green Slant Faced Grasshopper taken at Arch Creek Memorial Park using a Nikon D90 attached to a Nikkor 60mm 2.8 lens and macro light ring for enhanced illumination. Arch Creek Memorial Park is located on NE135th Street in North Miami, Florida, adjacent to Enchanted Forest Park.
The Green Slant Faced Grasshopper (Dichromorpha viridis) is a native Florida insect and is the most abundant species of grasshopper found in low grasses, according to the University of Florida. They are a mid-summer species identifiable by short wings and a brown to green color. The green slantfaced grasshopper inhabits fields that contain poa and little bluestem but also found amidst other grasses. The population of this native grasshopper fluctuates significantly from year to year.
Grasshoppers have antennae that are generally shorter than their body and short ovipositors. These insects also have pinchers or mandibles that cut and tear off food.Those species that make easily heard noises usually do so by rubbing the hind femurs against the forewings or abdomen (stridulation), or by snapping the wings in flight. Tympana, if present, are on the sides of the first abdominal segment. The hind femora are typically long and strong, fitted for leaping. Generally they are winged, but hind wings are membranous while front wings (tegmina) are coriaceous and not fit for flight. Females are normally larger than males, with short ovipositors. Males have a single unpaired plate at the end of the abdomen. Females have two pairs of valves ( triangles) at the end of the abdomen used to dig in sand when egg laying.
These insects are easily confused with the other sub-order of Orthoptera, Ensifera (crickets), but are different in many aspects, such as the number of segments in their antennae and structure of the ovipositor, as well as the location of the tympana and modes of sound production. Ensiferans have antennae with at least 20-24 segments, and caeliferans have fewer.