27 Grasshopper Species in North America! (2024)

An incredible amount of grasshopper species live in North America!

Trying to list them all would be impossible. 🙂

So below, you will find the most common and abundant insects found in the order Orthoptera. This includes not only grasshoppers but also crickets and katydids.

27 Grasshoppers in North America:


#1. Two-striped Grasshopper

  • Melanoplus bivittatus

Two-striped Grasshopper (Melanoplus bivittatus)

  • Adults are typically 1.2 to 2 inches (3 to 5 cm) long.
  • They are usually green or tan, with two pale yellow stripes running along the top of their bodies from above their eyes to the hind tips of their wings.
  • They have green or buff hind tibia with black spines.

These grasshoppers are well adapted to various habitats in North America!

They can call so many areas home because of their diet. Two-striped Grasshoppers aren’t picky and will feed on grasses, herbaceous or woody plants, seed pods, flowers, and crops.

When food is scarce, Two-striped Grasshoppers scavenge on dead plants and animals. They also occasionally resort to cannibalism!

These grasshoppers can be a lot of fun to find and catch. However, many insect lovers have found out the hard way that Two-striped Grasshoppers are quick to bite when handled. 🙂


#2. Green-striped Grasshopper 

  • Chortophaga viridifasciata

  • Adults are bright, grassy green with some pinkish brown on the legs and head.
  • They range in length from 1-1.5 in (23-38 mm)
  • Their wings are long and slender and usually a dull brown color.

Look for Green-striped Grasshoppers in moist areas of North America.

These insects are easiest to find in early summer when the adult females lay eggs. As the summer progresses, the grasshoppers move through the five stages of their life cycle. Because Green-striped Grasshoppers survive over winter and emerge as adults, they’re usually the first to appear in backyards!

You’re almost guaranteed to find these critters if you have a large yard or garden. They love to eat grass and other succulent plants, including many garden favorites!


#3. Carolina Grasshopper

  • Dissosteira carolina

  • Adults grow from 1.2-2.3 in (32–58 mm) in length.
  • Their coloring is a light brown to tan or gray, which allows them to hide in their environment.
  • They have large wings that flap dramatically in flight, and people often confuse them with butterflies.

Carolina Grasshoppers are found all over North America.

Their range includes many climates, and their diet varies depending on their habitat. For example, in pastureland or open fields, they primarily eat grasses. However, these grasshoppers will consume weeds and other less desirable plants in less fertile areas.

These grasshoppers are diurnal, meaning they are primarily active during the day and rest at night. However, don’t be surprised to find one near a light source in the late evening. They’re very attracted to lights! They live mostly on the ground and rarely climb or fly into trees.


#4. Obscure Bird Grasshopper

  • Schistocerca obscura

  • Adults are 1.4-2.5 in (36-65 mm) long.
  • They are grass-green to yellow-green with a bright yellow stripe on the back.
  • The wings are long, slender, and brownish-green in color.

Look for Obscure Bird Grasshoppers in fields and open forests in North America.

This insect is active from August to October, so look for them as summer turns to fall and the weather turns cool. Although usually smaller in size, this grasshopper shares many similarities with the American Bird Grasshopper, which is a close relative. They spend their time on the ground, eating grasses and young shoots on other plants.


#5. American Bird Grasshopper

  • Schistocerca americana

  • Adults are 1.8-2.2 in (4.5-5.5 cm) long.
  • They are light brown or tan with a mottled pattern of black spots. Some individuals look like they have a cheetah print!
  • Their long and slender wings and legs give them a delicate appearance.

American Bird Grasshoppers are native to North America. 

However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t sometimes considered pests. They can damage crops extensively if they have a particularly large population boom. In particular, American Bird Grasshoppers are known to cause severe damage to citrus groves in Florida.

You may also know this insect as a locust, although technically, locusts are a different family of grasshoppers. Due to their occasional population booms and tendency to swarm, American Bird Grasshoppers have earned the title among farmers and backyard gardeners.


#6. Differential Grasshopper

  • Melanoplus differentialis

  • Adults are usually shiny and yellow-brown.
  • They have brownish-yellow or brownish-red antennae and brown eyes with light spots.
  • Their upper hind legs are yellow with a black herringbone pattern, and their lower hind legs are yellow with black spines.

You may remember Differential Grasshoppers from hot summer days spent playing outside. They are one of the classic summer grasshoppers.

The best places to find these grasshoppers in North America are grasslands, but they will also inhabit vacant lots, open woodlands, roadsides, and croplands.

Their broad appetite helps them adapt to different areas. These grasshoppers feed on grasses, fruit trees, and crops.

If you’ve ever tried to catch one, you’ve probably noticed that Differential Grasshoppers are talented fliers. They can travel 10 to 100 yards in a single flight!


#7. Red-legged Grasshopper

  • Melanoplus femurrubrum

Red-legged Grasshopper (Melanoplus femurrubrum)

  • Adults typically range from 0.67 to 1.2 inches (1.7 to 3 cm) long.
  • Their color varies from reddish-brown to yellow, dark brown, green, or olive green. Their bright red or yellowish hindlegs feature a black herringbone pattern.
  • Their wings typically extend beyond the tip of their abdomen.

You may have spotted these grasshoppers in North America flying away as you walk through open habitats like yards, croplands, open floodplains, vacant lots, meadows, and prairies. When startled, they can fly distances of 40 feet (12.2 m)!

These grasshoppers have to be quick to stay alive. They’re an important food source for wildlife like turkeys and quail.

Red-legged Grasshoppers feed on various grasses and other plants, including goldenrod, dandelion, clover, and vetch. But interestingly, when food is scarce, Red-legged Grasshoppers develop longer wings, allowing them to fly to new areas searching for food.


#8. Fork-tailed Bush Katydid

  • Scudderia furcata

Fork-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia furcata)

  • Adults usually range from 1.5 to 1.75 inches (3.8 to 4.4 cm) long.
  • They are leafy-green with long green antennae but may have pinkish, brownish, or rusty tinges, especially in autumn.
  • Females have a brownish or purplish ovipositor, a sword-like appendage at the tip of their abdomen.

These katydids make one of the classic sounds of the night in North America.

Fork-tailed Bush Katydids are one of about 250 species of katydids or “bush crickets” found in North America. Unlike true grasshoppers, they spend most of their time in trees and shrubs and rarely descend to the ground.

These bright green insects are nocturnal. They spend their nights feeding on the flowers, foliage, and fruit of the trees and shrubs they call home. Don’t worry, gardeners; they rarely cause significant damage.

Katydids can be incredibly hard to spot because they blend perfectly with the leaves. If you get lucky, you may spot one on a tree trunk or around an outdoor light at night.

If you find a katydid, you should handle them with care. While not aggressive, they can give a good pinch if handled roughly.


#9. Red-headed Bush Cricket

  • Phyllopalpus pulchellus

  • Adults average 0.2-0.3 in (7–9mm) long.
  • This insect’s wings are black, with a reddish head and yellow legs.
  • Their back legs are much longer than the front and stick out behind their bodies.

Red-headed Bush Crickets are found in brushy areas in North America.

This cricket species has a loud, rattle-like song that’s easily recognizable. However, you’re much less likely to see one of these tiny creatures since they spend most of their time hidden among leaves!

These crickets are omnivorous and will eat almost any plant they inhabit. Additionally, they also hunt smaller insects and even insect eggs.


#10. Common True Katydid

  • Pterophylla camellifolia

  • Adults grow up to 2 in (50 mm) long.
  • They are bright green, which allows them to blend into their habitat.
  • Their wings are rounded at the end and narrow where they meet the body, and they have vein-like structures that give them the appearance of leaves.

The Common True Katydid lives in deciduous forests in North America. 

This insect got its name from the sound it makes, which is a raspy call that sounds like someone whispering “kay-tee-did.” It’s often quite loud and very recognizable on a summer evening.

YouTube video

Although Common True Katydids have wings, they seldom fly. Instead, these bugs walk or hop from branch to branch in the trees where they live. They eat the leaves of the deciduous trees where they make their homes.


#11. Pine Tree Spur-throat Grasshopper

  • Melanoplus punctulatus

  • Adults are 1-1.7 in (27-45 mm) long.
  • Their coloring is light tan or gray with black, brown, or greenish-mottled spots.
  • They have large eyes, relatively short legs, and slender wings.

Pine Tree Spur-Throat Grasshoppers are sometimes found in their namesake trees but also inhabit many other trees in North America. They eat the leaves of the trees where they live. Look for them in open forests from July to September.

This species is primarily nocturnal, meaning it is most active at night.

However, they are attracted to light sources, so if you have a light on in the evening, you might see some.


#12. Fall Field Cricket

  • Gryllus pennsylvanicus

  • Adults are 0.6–1.0 in (15–25 mm) long.
  • Their coloring is dark brown to black, sometimes with a reddish tint.
  • They have very long antennae and short wings.

This species is one of the most widespread crickets in North America. 

Fall Field Crickets are relatively large and easy to spot because of their dark color. As their name suggests, they live in open fields and yards with plenty of grass, their preferred food source. They also eat small invertebrates and insect eggs.

If you’ve heard these crickets chirping on a late summer evening, you know their call can be extremely loud! The males perform their call to attract females so that they can reproduce.


#13. Short-winged Meadow Katydid

  • Conocephalus brevipennis

  • Adults are 0.4-0.6 in (12-16 mm) long.
  • They have bright green bodies with brown wings and legs.
  • Their eyes are large, and their antennae and legs are very long.

Look for these Katydids in late summer through fall, when they are active and reproducing. They make a call similar to other Katydids, which sounds like someone saying their name.

You can recognize this particular insect by its short wings, which are often only a fraction of its body length. In contrast, its legs are very long and stick out quite a bit from its body.


#14. Slender Meadow Katydid

  • Conocephalus fasciatus

  • Adults are 0.7-1 in (18–26 mm) long.
  • Their coloring is a combination of brown and green.
  • These insects have a slender body and long wings.

You can find Slender Meadow Katydids in various habitats in North America. 

These insects prefer grassy or weedy land in pastures, open woods, and backyards. Unlike many of their relatives, this species has a soft call. It sounds like a series of clicks and buzzing, and each call lasts 1-20 seconds.

Slender Meadow Katydids eat grass and grass seeds, so anywhere with overgrown grasses is a good place to start searching for these bugs.


#15. Greenhouse Camel Cricket

  • Tachycines asynamorus

  • Adults are 0.4–0.6 in (11–14 mm) long.
  • They are yellowish-brown to reddish-brown, with dark brown patterns.
  • Their bodies are curved, and they have extremely long limbs and antennae.

Greenhouse Camel Crickets look more like an alien species than crickets as we think of them! These interesting creatures usually live in caves in humid, tropical environments. Introduced populations find greenhouses a good replacement, which is how they got their name!

If you find them in your greenhouse, don’t worry. Unlike many grasshoppers in North America, these crickets are carnivorous! They eat smaller insects and invertebrates, so your plants will be safe from these insects.


#16. Tropical House Cricket

  • Gryllodes sigillatus

  • Adults are 0.51–0.71 in (13–18 mm) long.
  • They are light brown or yellowish-tan with two thick black bands around the body.
  • Their antennae and legs are long, and their wings are short.

Tropical House Crickets might be the most recognizable species of cricket. These insects are often sold as live pet food for reptiles, amphibians, and birds. They are easy to care for and nutritious for most insect-eating pets.

You’re likely to find these crickets in warm, humid, tropical climates in the wild. They don’t cause agricultural damage, so they aren’t considered a pest, although the males’ loud singing can be disruptive at night!


#17. Narrow-winged Tree Cricket

  • Oecanthus niveus

  • Adults are 0.5-0.6 in (13-16 mm) long.
  • They are light green with orange on the top of the head.
  • Their wings are thin, narrow, and translucent, with the appearance of plastic wrap.

Look for these crickets in broad-leaf trees in North America. 

They spend most of their time in man-made orchards, deciduous forests, and shrubbery. They can live their entire lives within the foliage, eating leaves there.

Like other crickets, Narrow-winged Tree Crickets seem able to tell the weather! Their call is faster and higher-pitched during warmer weather. In comparison, their call is slower and lower in pitch during cooler nights.


#18. Tawny Mole Cricket

  • Neoscapteriscus vicinus

  • Adults are 0.9-1.2 in (24-33 mm) long.
  • Their coloring is mottled brown and tan with reddish joints.
  • These crickets have a coating of fine hairs across their bodies.

Tawny Mole Crickets are not native to North America. 

They were introduced in cargo shipments from South America and are considered a pest here. They primarily damage turf and grass, making them particularly troublesome on golf courses. However, they also damage crops, including sugarcane, vegetable gardens, and ornamental plants.

You’re not likely to spot a Tawny Mole Cricket above ground because this is a burrowing species. In fact, a portion of the damage they do to crops is from their burrowing activity in addition to eating the plants’ roots.


#19. Short-winged Green Grasshopper

  • Dichromorpha viridis

  • Adults are 0.5-1 in (14-30 mm) long.
  • They are green above with brown or tan heads and undersides, although some individuals are brown all over.
  • These grasshoppers have the typical shape you may think of, with a slender body, very long hind legs, and an angular face.

These grasshoppers are active during summer and fall in North America.

Short-winged green grasshoppers prefer areas with short grass, so you’ll likely see them in your backyard! They eat new grass shoots and seed heads.

If you find an all-brown specimen, it’s likely a female. This is especially true if it’s larger than average, as females are usually much bigger than males.


#20. Broad-tipped Conehead

  • Neoconocephalus triops

  • Adults are 1.7-2.6 in (43-67 mm) long.
  • Their coloring is variable; some are bright green, while others are tan with black markings.
  • They have long, slender bodies and wings with a distinctive cone-shaped head.

These katydids are easily recognizable because of their long, cone-shaped heads. The head comes to a point between the eyes, which are small, beady, and close together.

Broad-tipped Coneheads are most active in the fall, and you can hear their call from low brush or high above in the tree canopy. It sounds like a low, humming trill in about 1-second intervals.


#21. Mormon Cricket

  • Anabrus simplex

  • Adults grow up to 3 inches (8 cm) long.
  • Most individuals are dark brown to black, although some females are bright green.
  • They have large, stocky bodies and relatively short legs.

Mormon Crickets are one of the largest crickets in North America!

Although their common name suggests they are crickets and look similar to grasshoppers, they are actually members of the shield-backed katydid family. You can see this hard outer shell in close-up pictures. Just look for the plate extending from the back of the head to the abdomen.

Although their population is usually rather low, swarms of Mormon Crickets do occur occasionally. These swarms form bands of crickets up to 100 per square meter, posing safety risks. For example, if a band of crickets crosses a highway, drivers can become distracted. Crickets crushed on roadways can even cause slippery conditions similar to ice!


#22. Greater Anglewing

  • Microcentrum rhombifolium

  • Adults are 2.0–2.6 in (50–65 mm) long.
  • They are bright green to yellowish.
  • Their broad and leaf-like wings come to a sharp peak above their bodies.

You can find Greater Anglewings among shrubs and trees in North America, but picking them out can be difficult! These katydids are masters of camouflage, with wings that mimic leaves and coloring that helps them blend right in.

Adults are active in late summer through fall. Listen for their call, which is a series of clicks in an even pattern, repeated 10-20 times in a row.


#23. Crackling Forest Grasshopper

  • Trimerotropis verruculata

  • Adults are 1-1.5 in (28-38 mm) long.
  • Their coloring is a dull grayish-brown with light gray markings. It resembles granite.
  • They have stout, compact bodies and very short legs.

Crackling Forest Grasshoppers are found in mountainous forests in North America.

Their common name comes from the cracking noise they make in flight.

Their coloring is particularly useful as camouflage against their normal habitat, which includes rocky slopes, mountain ledges, and open mountain forests. They primarily eat grasses and forbs.


#24. Pallid-winged Grasshopper

  • Trimerotropis pallidipennis

Pallid-winged Grasshopper (Trimerotropis pallidipennis)

  • Adults may grow to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long.
  • Adults are variable in color but are primarily gray or gray-brown with dark bands on their forewings and yellowish hind tibiae.
  • Their hind wings are long, narrow, and pale yellow with greenish or bluish at the base and a narrow dark band.

These drably colored grasshoppers typically live in deserts or dry areas in North America.

They like areas with sparse vegetation and bare ground, such as roadsides, vacant lots, and fields. Their coloring helps them blend in with the ground.

Some of the Pallid-winged Grasshopper’s behavior is dependent on the temperature. They tend to spend time foraging when temperatures are 75–90 °F (24–32 °C) and breed when they are 86–104 °F (30–40 °C).

Occasionally, Pallid-winged Grasshoppers will have localized population booms that can cause severe damage to vegetation and crops. These outbreaks may last a year or two.

Rainfall is a major factor in the survival of Pallid-winged Grasshopper eggs. The large outbreaks of these grasshoppers are associated with above-average rainfall levels in the previous fall, winter, and early spring.


#25. Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

  • Romalea microptera

Also called Florida Lubber, Florida Lubber Grasshopper, or Georgia Thumper.

Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera)

  • Adults range from 1.5 to 4 inches (3.8 to 10 cm) long.
  • The coloration may vary, but they are usually bright yellow with black and orange accents.
  • Their forewings extend about 2/3 of the way down their abdomen, and they have short hindwings.

The Eastern Lubber is one of the largest grasshoppers in North America!

But their looks can be deceiving. Despite having wings, they are incapable of flight, and they don’t hop very well despite having robust legs. 🙂

These heavy-bodied grasshoppers get around mostly by walking. In fact, their name, “lubber,” most likely comes from an Old English word, “lobre,” which means lazy or clumsy.

However, they do deserve a little credit. Despite being bulky, Eastern Lubbers are skillful climbers and make their way up into plants and trees to feed on foliage.

Occasionally, local populations boom and can cause severe damage to gardens, crops, and citrus groves. Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers have an appetite to match their impressive size.


#26. Gray Bird Grasshopper

  • Schistocerca nitens

Gray Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca nitens)

  • Adults are typically 1.6 to 2.8 inches (4 to 7 cm) long.
  • Adults have variable coloration but are usually patches of gray and brown.
  • They have dark bars on the tops of their hind femora.

Also called Vagrant Grasshoppers, these large insects are skilled travelers. They look a bit clumsy, but looks can be deceiving. These grasshoppers are strong fliers, sometimes migrating hundreds of miles.

Gray Bird Grasshoppers aren’t tied to moist habitats in North America like many other grasshopper species. You’ll find them in mountainous areas, deserts, and woodlands, and they often congregate around bright outdoor lights at night.

These grasshoppers adapt to different habitats by feeding on various plants, including crops and ornamental plants. The Gray Bird Grasshopper can be a troublesome pest, especially outside its native range. For example, in 2004, a swarm on the Hawaiian island Nihoa wiped out 90% of the vegetation!


#27. Painted Meadow Grasshopper

  • Chimarocephala pacifica

  • Adults are 0.4-1 in (12-25 mm) long.
  • They come in a variety of colors, ranging from all green to all brown. Some individuals even have pinkish-brown markings.
  • These grasshoppers are long and narrow-bodied with long wings and limbs.

Painted Meadow Grasshoppers might be the prettiest species in North America!

This widely varied insect can be difficult to identify because its coloring is not uniform. However, it is easy to find in its range. You can find it on roadsides, in open fields, and even in vacant lots.

If you find a particularly large or colorful specimen, it’s probably female. The males tend to be smaller and more subdued in color but have longer wings.


Did you like learning about the grasshoppers that live in North America?

Check out these ID guides that focus specifically on different insects and arachnids in North America.


Do you need additional help identifying grasshoppers in North America?

If so, check out this excellent ID guide!


Which of these grasshoppers have you seen in North America?

Leave a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *