Minnesota Grasshoppers, Crickets, and Katydids

Order Orthoptera

Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids) is the order of insects that is characterized by having long hind legs, modified for jumping; leathery forewings; unsegmented cerci (appendages at tip of abdomen); small and well separated hind coxae; a pronotum with large descending lateral lobes; hind tibiae with two dorsal rows of teeth; and nymphal wing rudiments reversing their orientation in later instars. The order includes grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, and katydids.

There are about 20,000 species worldwide, 1,200 species in about 256 genera in North America north of Mexico.

red-legged grasshopper



Recent Additions
Sword-bearing conehead

Sword-bearing conehead (Neoconocephalus ensiger) is a common, large, meadow katydid. It is often heard at night but seldom seen in daylight. During the day it perches head down on the lower stalk of vegetation with only its wings and hind legs visible, appearing like a grass blade. At night the female can be found near a calling male feeding on the seed head of a grass plant.

Sword-bearing conehead has two color phases, leaf green and dark tan. It is most easily identified by the song of the male. The male has sound-producing organs, a “scraper” at the anal edge of the right front wing and a “file” near the base of the left front wing. By rubbing the file against the scraper the male produces a distinctive song. It is a continuous series of high-pitched lisps, clearly separated, produced at the rate of 10 per second. It is often compared to the sound of a distant locomotive.

Aside from its song, sword-bearing conehead is identified by the long wings and antennae; the rounded “cone” at the top of the head that is separated from the head by a gap; the narrow yellowish edging on the thorax and the front wing; and the curved, sword-like ovipositor on the female.

  sword-bearing conehead
  Photo by Bill Reynolds
Migratory grasshopper

Migratory grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes) is a common, medium-sized, spur-throated, short-horned grasshopper. It may be the most common species of grasshopper in North American grasslands. It is a serious agricultural pest, causing more crop damage than any other species of grasshopper in North America. As its common name implies, the migratory grasshopper congregates into swarms and migrates in search of food. When they do they may devastate all leafy vegetation wherever they land. Swarms have been detected at all elevations up to 13,000 feet and have been recorded traveling as much as 575 miles.

The family short-horned grasshoppers have antennae no more than half the length of the body, upper thoracic plate (pronotum) not extending over the abdomen, well developed wings, and a three segmented foot. The subfamily spur-throated grasshoppers have a tiny bump on their “throat”; a flat, rounded pronotum; a vertical face; and clear hindwings. This species is identified by hind wings that are longer than the body; front wings that are about as long as the body and are mostly transparent but have dark spots; a pale yellow stripe behind the eye; a banded hind femur; and features at the tip of the abdomen visible only in an extreme close-up photo.

  migratory grasshopper
  Photo by Bill Reynolds
Camel cricket (Ceuthophilus sp.)

This is a very common genus of native crickets. It can be found under rotten logs, under stones, in mole hills, and other moist dark places, but is most often encountered in basements. Unlike most crickets it has no hearing organs (tympanum).

The family (Rhaphidophoridae) is identified by its distinctive, hump-backed shape, lack of wings and tympanum, and antennae longer than the body. The genus (Ceuthophilus) is identified by four end segments (tarsi) on each leg and the lack of a spine on the front of the tibia of the foreleg.

  camel cricket (Ceuthophilus sp.)
  Photo by Bill Reynolds
Curve-tailed bush katydid

This may be the most common large bush katydid. It is found from spring to autumn feeding on leaves and tender stems of a variety of plants. The head, body, wings, and legs are pale grass green, making it difficult to see except when it is startled into flight.

  curve-tailed bush katydid
    Photo by Bill Reynolds
Other Recent Additions

Allard’s ground cricket (Allonemobius allardi)

black-sided meadow katydid (Conocephalus nigropleurum)

oblong-winged katydid (Amblycorypha oblongifolia)

Scudder’s bush katydid (Scudderia spp.)

two-striped grasshopper (Melanoplus bivittatus)

graceful grasshopper (Melanoplus gracilis)

  graceful grasshopper









This list includes only grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids that have been recorded in Minnesota, but not all of the grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids found in Minnesota.

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black-sided meadow katydid

camel cricket (Ceuthophilus sp.)

Carolina grasshopper







curve-tailed bush katydid

differential grasshopper

fall field cricket




graceful grasshopper




















migratory grasshopper










oblong-winged katydid








red-legged grasshopper




Scudder’s bush katydid (Scudderia sp.)





















striped ground cricket

sword-bearing conehead

two-striped grasshopper


admirable grasshopper (Syrbula admirabilis)

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Allard’s ground cricket (Allonemobius allardi)


American bird grasshopper (Schistocerca americana)


autumn yellow-winged grasshopper (Arphia xanthoptera)


big-headed grasshopper (Aulocara elliotti)


black-legged meadow katydid (Orchelimum nigripes)

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black-sided meadow katydid (Conocephalus nigropleurum)


blue-legged grasshopper (Metator pardalinus)


broad-winged bush katydid (Scudderia pistillata)


Bruner’s spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus bruneri)

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camel cricket (Ceuthophilus spp.)

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Carolina grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina)


clear-winged grasshopper (Camnula pellucida)


clip-wing grasshopper (Metaleptea brevicornis)


clouded grasshopper (Encoptolophus sordidus)


club-horned grasshopper (Aeropedellus clavatus)


common meadow katydid (Orchelimum vulgare)


common true katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia)


coral-winged grasshopper (Pardalophora apiculata)


crackling forest grasshopper (Trimerotropis verruculata)

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curve-tailed bush katydid (Scudderia curvicauda)


Dawson’s grasshopper (Melanoplus dawsoni)

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differential grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis)

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fall field cricket (Gryllus pennsylvanicus)


flabellate grasshopper (Melanoplus occidentalis)


fork-tailed bush katydid (Scudderia furcata)


four-spotted grasshopper (Phlibostroma quadrimaculata)


Geyser grasshopper (Trimerotropis diversellus)


gladiator meadow katydid (Orchelimum gladiator)


Gladston’s grasshopper (Melanoplus gladstoni)


graceful grasshopper (Melanoplus gracilis)


graceful sedge grasshopper (Stethophyma gracilis)


greater angle-wing (Microcentrum rhombifolium)


green-legged grasshopper (Melanoplus viridipes)


green-striped grasshopper (Chortophaga viridifasciata)


Haldeman’s grasshopper (Pardalophora haldemanii)


huckleberry grasshopper (Melanoplus fasciatus)


Huron short-wing grasshopper (Melanoplus huroni)


island short-wing grasshopper (Melanoplus islandicus)


Keeler’s grasshopper (Melanoplus keeleri luridus)


Kiowa grasshopper (Trachyrhachys kiowa)


large-headed grasshopper (Phoetaliotes nebrascensis)


leather-colored bird grasshopper (Schistocerca alutacea)


little spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus infantilis)


long-spurred meadow katydid (Orchelimum silvaticum)


longhorn band-wing grasshopper (Psinidia fenestralis)


marsh meadow grasshopper (Chorthippus curtipennis)

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migratory grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes)


mottled sand grasshopper (Spharagemon collare)


mugwort grasshopper (Hypochlora alba)


narrow-winged sand grasshopper (Melanoplus angustipennis)


northern bush katydid (Scudderia septentrionalis)


northern grasshopper (Melanoplus borealis)


northern green-striped grasshopper (Chortophaga viridifasciata viridifasciata)


northern marbled grasshopper (Spharagemon marmoratum marmoratum)

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oblong-winged katydid (Amblycorypha oblongifolia)


obscure grasshopper (Opeia obscura)


orange-winged grasshopper (Pardalophora phoenicoptera)


Packard's grasshopper (Melanoplus packardii)


pasture grasshopper (Melanoplus confusus)


pine tree spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus punctulatus)


post oak grasshopper (Dendrotettix quercus)


protean shieldback (Atlanticus testaceus)


purple-striped grasshopper (Hesperotettix viridis pratensis)

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red-legged grasshopper (Melanoplus femurrubrum)


red-shanked grasshopper (Xanthippus corallipes latifasciatus)


red-winged grasshopper (Arphia pseudonietana)


robust conehead (Neoconocephalus robustus)


Rocky Mountain sprinkled locust (Chloealtis abdominalis)

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Scudder’s bush katydid (Scudderia spp.)


Scudder’s short-wing grasshopper (Melanoplus scudderi)


seaside grasshopper (Trimerotropis maritima)


short-winged green grasshopper (Dichromorpha viridis)


short-winged meadow katydid (Conocephalus brevipennis)


short-winged toothpick grasshopper (Pseudopomala brachyptera)


showy grasshopper (Hesperotettix speciosus)


slant-faced pasture grasshopper (Orphulella speciosa)


slender meadow katydid (Conocephalus fasciatus)


snowy tree cricket (Oecanthus fultoni)


southern sedge grasshopper (Stethophyma celata)


speckle-winged rangeland grasshopper (Arphia conspersa)


spotted bird grasshopper (Schistocerca lineata)


spotted-winged grasshopper (Orphulella pelidna)


spring field cricket (Gryllus veletis)


sprinkled grasshopper (Chloealtis conspersa)


spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus spp.)


Stone’s grasshopper (Melanoplus stonei)


straight-lanced meadow katydid (Conocephalus strictus)

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striped ground cricket (Allonemobius fasciatus)


striped sand grasshopper (Melanoplus foedus)


striped sedge grasshopper (Stethophyma lineata)


striped slant-face grasshopper (Amphitornus coloradus)


sulphur-winged grasshopper (Arphia sulphurea)

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sword-bearing conehead (Neoconocephalus ensiger)


Texas bush katydid (Scudderia texensis)

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two-striped grasshopper (Melanoplus bivittatus)


two-striped mermiria (Mermiria bivittata)


velvet-striped grasshopper (Eritettix simplex)


Walsh’s short-wing grasshopper (Melanoplus walshii)


western clouded grasshopper (Encoptolophus costalis)


white-whiskered grasshopper (Ageneotettix deorum)


wingless mountain grasshopper (Booneacris glacialis)


woodland meadow katydid (Conocephalus nemoralis)


wrinkled grasshopper (Hippiscus ocelote)


yellowish spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus flavidus)






No Species Page Yet?

If you do not see a linked page for an insect in the list at left, or the insect does not appear in the list, you can still upload a photo or video as an email attachment or report a sighting for that insect. Click on one of the buttons below and type in the common name and/or scientific name of the insect in your photo, video, or sighting. A new page will be created for that insect featuring your contribution.

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Capitalization of Common Names

Insect scientific names are governed by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). Vernacular (common) names are not. In an attempt to “assure the uniformity of (common) names of common insects” the Entomological Society of America (ESA) published Common Names of Insects and Related Organisms. ESA has no rule or guideline that addresses capitalization of common names. However, the database of common names published by ESA does not capitalize common names. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) also uses uncapitalized common names. Most other sources, including ITIS, BAMONA, Odonata Central, and the Peterson Field Guides, capitalize common insect names. MinnesotaSeasons.com will adhere to the convention followed by ESA and NCBI.


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