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DISSOSTIERA CAROLINA GRASSHOPPER TAXIDERMY

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KINGDOM : Animalia

PHYLUM : Arthropoda

SUBPHYLUM : Hexapoda

CLASS : Insecta

ORDER : Orthoptera

SUBORDER : Caelifera

FAMILY : Acrididae

SUBFAMILY : Oedipodinae

TRIBE : Dissosteira

SPECIES : Carolina

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DISSOSTIERA CAROLINA GRASSHOPPER

The Carolina grasshopper, a large bandwinged species, ranges widely in North America inhabiting weedy grasslands. Blowouts, field margins, roadside strips, weedy fence rows, railway cuttings, and disturbed rangeland support moderate populations of this species. During the day when temperatures warm, the adults move from vegetated to bare areas such as dirt roads where they fly about and become highly conspicuous.

The Carolina grasshopper is a strong, adept flier. During warm, sunny days the adults frequently fly over bare ground interacting with one another. Males are noted for their hovering flight. They rise almost vertically from the ground to heights of 3 to 6 feet, occasionally higher, and hover for 8 to 15 seconds. At the end they flutter down to the ground close to where they started. They may repeat this maneuver as many as five times. During the hovering flight they produce a soft, sibilant sound. The hovering behavior may be a part of courtship in that it attracts females. The display also attracts males so that a small aggregation of several males and a female may gather on the bare ground beneath the hovering male.

The Carolina grasshopper (also called the black-winged grasshopper; other regional common names include the roadduster, the Carolina locust, and the butterfly grasshopper). The Carolina grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina) is a large grasshopper that flies like a butterfly and seems to disappear when it lands on bare soil. It is not normally a pest, but in places where the soil is so fine that it blows, this grasshopper can build up and cause minor damage to wheat or pastures. It usually looks much worse than it is, because of its size. It normally doesn't fly until July. This species does well in very light soil. [Usually a non-pest, but may cause damage to cereal crops if numbers exceed 10 per sq. m.

The Acrididae are the predominant family of grasshoppers, comprising some 10,000 of the 11,000 species of the entire suborder Caelifera. The Acrididae are best known because all locusts (swarming grasshoppers) are of the Acrididae. The subfamily Oedipodinae is sometimes classified as a distinct family Oedipodidae in the superfamily Acridoidea. Acrididae grasshoppers are characterized by relatively short and stout antennae, and tympana on the side of the first abdominal segment. The name Acrididae is derived from Greek akris, meaning locust.

D. carolina is a large grasshopper that is typically found in open areas with sand and gravel (such as gravel pits, railway beds and roads). It is easily identified by its characteristic black wings with yellow rims. The body color ranges from tan to dark brown to black and is dependent on the coloration of the substrate that the grasshopper lived on during its development. The adults fly well and can hover above the ground. Their flight is similar to a butterfly's in its fluttery wavering nature. Females are larger then the males. There is one generation per year. Population explosions of this grasshopper are partially controlled by the fungus Entomophaga grylli. Economically the Black-winged Grasshopper is not a significant pest, causing minor damage to tobacco, cereals, grasses and alfalfa crops.

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