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Identification Tools | Apps
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Grasshopper Identification Tools | Apps

/ARSUserFiles/30320505/grasshopper/ID Tools/ghimg3.jpgGrasshopper species identification is an integral part of any management effort. While there are more than 400 known species of grasshoppers in the Western United States, only about two dozen are considered pest species capable of producing economic damage. A few species are actually beneficial because they eat undesirable plants. Several identification guides, keys and a naturalist's guide are provided below to help identify grasshopper species and to provide information on the biology and economic importance of individual species. Guides written for one state are typically applicable to nearby states.

Mobile Apps

Also included are new mobile apps for iPhone and Android cellphones, employing Lucid Keys that enable users to readily identify as many as 76 different species of grasshoppers in the field.  

Available Tools:

Click on a link or scroll down for further information. Some links will open in a new browser window.

Field Guide to Common Western Grasshoppers

Third Edition, February 2002
By Robert E. Pfadt, University of Wyoming
Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 912

This handy guide from Dr. Robert Pfadt includes information on grasshopper biology, anatomy, populations and life cycles. It also shows how to survey grasshoppers and develop a grasshopper collection.

Grasshopper Species Fact Sheets 

By Robert E. Pfadt, University of Wyoming
Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 912

This collection of 60 species fact sheets features distribution maps and color photographs for each species, as well as information on their economic importance, identification and biology. Please Note: Link is to pdfs in IPM Handbook section.

Naturalist's Guides for Grasshoppers of the Canadian Prairies and Northern Great Plains

By Dan Johnson, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Grassland Ecosystems, University of Lethbridge

These naturalist's guides for spur-throated grasshoppers, band-winged grasshoppers and slant-faced grasshoppers are written in non-technical language for the general public. They feature pictures, descriptions and natural history information on the major grasshopper species in each subfamily. They were originally published in Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands, which supports the grasslands project of the Biological Survey of Canada.

Spur-throated grasshoppers (PDF)
Band-winged grasshoppers (PDF)
Slant-faced grasshoppers (PDF)

Grasshoppers (Acrididae) of Colorado: Identification, Biology and Management

By J.L. Capinera and T.S. Sechrist
Colorado State University Experiment Station Bulletin No. 584S

Includes an illustrated dichotomous key to the adult grasshoppers of Colorado, as well as information on seasonal occurrence, distribution, host plant preferences and economic importance for over 70 grasshopper species. Although developed for use in Colorado, this manual is useful throughout the western U.S. This original printed text has been formatted for the web by the University of Wyoming at Laramie and is included here with their permission.

Hopper Helper (PDF)

By Wendal Cushing

Hopper Helper provides field personnel with an easy-to-use guide for survey operations while in the field. The guide incorporates information on the life stages and species of grasshoppers found in southwestern North Dakota and on western rangeland. Data for this reference were based on studies done in the Grasshopper Integrated Pest Management (GHIPM) Project demonstration area in McKenzie County, ND.

Orthoptera of the Northern Great Plains

By Gerald M. Fauske, North Dakota State University

This online publication is designed to allow the identification of Orthoptera occurring in the Northern Great Plains. Every species known to occur in either North Dakota or South Dakota is included within the keys. Most species have an additional page of characters and a map showing known distribution records in North and South Dakota. 

A Manual of the Grasshoppers of New Mexico (Orthoptera: Acrididae and Romaleidae)

By D. B. Richman, D. C. Lightfoot, C. A. Sutherland, and D. J. Ferguson. Illustrated by Lonnie Black

An online publication of a New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service manual which catalogs known grasshopper fauna for New Mexico and aids in identification of various species known or suspected to occur in the state. The original printed text has been formatted for the web by the University of Wyoming at Laramie. 

Electronic Key for Common Adult Grasshoppers of the Western United States (LucidTM Key)


For the novice, even commonly encountered grasshoppers can be difficult to identify using traditional dichotomous keys. The electronic key for Common Adult Rangeland Grasshoppers of the Western United States is a powerful yet simple interactive identification and information system that will allow you to identify 58 common adult grasshoppers. An identification proceeds as simple as this - by choosing more and more features from the list in Characters Available that describe your specimen.

Mobile Apps also available.

Key to Wyoming Grasshoppers: Acrididae and Tetrigidae

By Robert E. Pfadt, Revised by Timothy J. McNary

This online publication is designed to allow the identification of grasshoppers occurring in Wyoming. This information has been formatted for the web by Spencer Shell at the University of Wyoming. 

Grasshoppers of Nebraska (PDF)

By Mathew L. Brust, Wyatt Hoback, Robert J. Wright. University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, aided in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

This field guide to Nebraska grasshoppers, published in March 2009, includes color plates, species descriptions, coverage maps, and more. 

Identification Guides for Pest Grasshoppers in Nebraska

By University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Color, 2-page PDF grasshopper identification guides for the major pest grasshopper species in Nebraska affecting range and crop lands. 

Grasshopper Identification Guide for Rangeland Grasshoppers, Fall/Spring Species (PDF)
Grasshopper Identification Guide for Rangeland Grasshoppers, Summer Species (PDF)
Grasshopper Identification Guide for Cropland Grasshoppers, Summer Species (PDF)

Field Guide to Grasshoppers of Economic Importance in Nevada (PDF)

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Service Publication EB 02-02

This 60-page guide is designed to simplify identification of economically damaging grasshopper species and Mormon crickets for ranchers, farmers, agency personnel, and other land managers in Nevada. The guide discusses grasshopper sampling methods and the integrated pest management of range, crop and garden grasshoppers. The species identified in the guide are responsible for most of the damage to Nevada’s range plants.

Grasshoppers of Florida

By J. L. Capinera, C. W. Scherer, and J. M. Squitier, University of Florida

An online publication (in pdf format) that is the first color guide to grasshoppers in the southeastern United States. All of the acridid grasshoppers found in Florida are included in this guide. Over 100 color photographs, numerous line drawings, and nontechnical descriptions provide for easy and rapid identification. Also included are information on anatomy, life history, ecological significance, geographical distribution, and the management of grasshopper pests. Click on the "Contents", "Florida Maps", and "About This Publication" inserts to access the information.