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Bug of the Month April 2017



Guarding the eggs

Because they hop like the Easter Bunny!

A 5th-instar Velvet-striped Grasshopper (Eritettix simplex)


Don Pittman found at least one species of a grassland hopper enticed out of hiding by the warm spring sunshine. “I don’t think I’ve ever noticed action this early,” he said. Professor Dan Johnson, University of Lethbridge identified the critter as a 5th-instar Velvet-striped Grasshopper (Eritettix simplex).

“It is one of eight early-season species that I monitor around Lethbridge.  I have noticed many 5th instars this year, which is slightly early.  In most years since the 1980s, I have found them overwintering mainly in the 4th -instar.  They molt into 5th and then adult when they get some warm weather, normally March.  A very good place to find this species is the steep slopes of the Oldman river valley, for example around Helen Schuler Nature Centre,” says Johnson.

You can read Canadian Grasslands Arthropods by Dan Johnson in this pdf. Page 12 has information about the Velvet-Striped Grasshopper.


Check out the Alberta Agriculture & Forestry 2017 Grasshopper forecast