|Desert Clicker (Ligurotettix coquilletti) and Creosote Bush Grasshopper (Bootettix argentatus)|
By contrast, I have never been able to find a green and white Bootettix argentatus actually on the Creosote foliage, they are just too well camouflaged. Those little white markings, just like those of I. covilleae not only break up the shape but also resemble the reflection on the shiny creosote leaves. But sometimes B. argentatus comes to my black light. I have kept the grasshoppers in a terrarium for several weeks. With voracious appetites they devoured nothing but leaves and green twigs of Creosote. Their enclosure and the whole room soon smelled of desert rain and cough drops.
All four species introduced in this chapter belong to the order Orthoptera. They have the characteristic long hind legs that allow grasshoppers, katydids and crickets to jump long distances when disturbed.
They are members of the two big suborders of Orthoptera, and below I will try to explain their differences:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYhcfGr8nTc , demonstrating the first version of stridulation. In grasshoppers the tympana for sound reception are located on the sides of the first abdominal segment.
Yesterday, I went to Las Cienegas to find more hoppers of the grasslands and this evening I listened to the Tree Crickets along the Santa Cruz River in Marana. In late autumn in Arizona, Orthoptera are definitely among the most active insects and I will soon have some more blog chapters devoted to them.