Orthoptera of the Northern Great Plains

How to use this website

    The primary purpose of this site is 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. All species recorded from North Dakota or reported from near the borders, have an additional page of characters and a map showing known distribution records. The Home page gives an overview of this website.  Every topic and every page of this site is accessible through the Table of Contents. The Introduction section is simply what this site is about and how to use it. All technical terms used in the text are explained and usually illustrated in the section: Anatomy of a grasshopper. To make an accurate identification, such terms cannot be avoided. Bear in mind that each term is a ‘sign post’ that conveys the message, "What I need to see to identify this grasshopper." 

Grasshopper image
(photo Loren Oslie)

    The section: Distinguishing nymphs from adults, addresses the question, "Can I use the key to identify this grasshopper?" At present, the identification key used in this website only deals with adult specimens. Nymphs of many common species are pictured with adults under their appropriate species headings. Distinguishing characteristics of many additional nymphs are also included under the species headings. Because some distinctive characters are sex specific, there is a section titled: Distinguishing males from females. In a few cases, characters listed in the key only apply to one sex, additional ones are often listed under the species headings.

    The main identification tool provided is the Key to the Orthoptera of the Dakotas. Rather than being a ‘traditional’ dichotomous key, here you will find groupings of species followed by a short list characters common to the group. With this system, you will always have an overview as to ‘where you are going’ and, your judgment can be based on more than one character. The first idea is important because the identification process is a descent through a succession of smaller groups– and there are many grasshopper species. The second idea is important in that not every single member of a group will have every single character. Species are not postage stamps. There is variation. See also the directions at the beginning of the key. 

    Identification characters for the Orthoptera of North Dakota, accessible from the table of contents, through the key, or via the species index, is a listing of every species reported from North Dakota, or found close to the borders of that state. For each entry there is: Latin and common name, diagnostic characters, range map, and often ‘thumbnail’ pictures. For economically important species, additional identification diagrams are provided.

    Range maps for the Orthoptera of North Dakota are part of the identification pages. Each map records (dark blue) all counties in the Dakotas from which a specimen has been collected and is preserved in either the North Dakota State Insect Reference Collection (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND) or the Severin-McDaniel Insect Research Museum (South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD). Counties shaded in pale blue represent published literature records– see the bibliography for sources. ‘Holes’ in maps such as these, illustrate the amount of information still not known about even our common hoppers.

    By definition, every website should have a Photo gallery.  If you dislike keys, worry over lists of characters, but ‘know what the critter looks like,’ this portion of the website is for you. Through the thumbnail pictures you can access the species pages and range maps.

ND counties SD counties
1. Adams 34. Pembina 1. Aurora 34. Hyde
2. Barnes 35. Pierce 2. Beadle 35. Jackson
3. Benson 36. Ramsey 3. Bennett 36. Jerauld
4. Billings 37. Ransom 4. Bon Homme 37. Jones
5. Bottineau 38. Renville 5. Brookings 38. Kingsbury
6. Bowman 39. Richland 6. Brown 39. Lake
7. Burke 40. Rolette 7. Brule 40. Lawrence
8. Burleigh 41. Sargent 8. Buffalo 41. Lincoln
9. Cass 42. Sheridan 9. Butte 42. Lyman
10. Cavalier 43. Sioux 10. Campbell 43. Marshall
11. Dickey 44. Slope 11. Charlex Mix 44. McPherson
12. Divide 45. Stark 12. Clark 45. Meade
13. Dunn 46. Steele 13. Clay 46. Mellette
14. Eddy 47. Stutsman 14. Codington 47. Miner
15. Emmons 48. Towner 15. Corson 48. Minnehaha
16. Foster 49. Traill 16. Custer 49. Moody
17. Golden Valley 50. Walsh 17. Davison 50. Pennington
18. Grand Forks 51. Ward 18. Day 51. Perkins
19. Grant 52. Wells 19. Deuel 52. Potter
20. Griggs 53. Williams 20. Dewey 53. Roberts
21. Hettinger   21. Douglas 54. Sanborne
22. Kidder   22. Edmunds 55. Shannon
23. LaMoure   23. Faulk 56. Spink
24. Logan   24. Fall River 57. Stanley
25. McHenry   25. Grant 58. Sulley
26. McIntosh   26. Gregory 59. Todd
27. McKenzie    27. Haakon 60. Tripp
28. McLean   28. Hamiln 61. Turner
29. Mercer   29. Hand 62. Union
30. Morton   30. Hanson 63. Yankton
31. Mountrail   31. Harding 64. Walworth
32. Nelson   32. Hutchinson 65. Ziebach
33. Oliver   33. Hughes  

 ND/SD County Map



















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Last updated: 02/08/02    

Gerald M. Fauske
Research Specialist
202 Hultz Hall
Fargo, ND  58105
E-Mail:  Gerald.Fauske@ndsu.nodak.edu

Published by the Department of Entomology


Prospective students may schedule a visit by calling 1-800-488-NDSU.