Small Plague Grasshopper

Austroicetes cruciata, Austroicetes frater and others

Family: Acrididae

Order: Orthoptera

Description:

Brown.

Body - long and slender.

End section of leg (Tarsi) has 3 segments.

Have wings. Usually only flies short distances after launching itself with it powerful back legs.

Chewing mouthparts.

Strong rear legs for jumping.

Front segment of thorax has a strong shield (pronotum).

Abdomen has 11 segments. Spiracles on segments 1 to 8.

There are species of grasshoppers all over Australia.

Antennae have 7 or more segments.

Biology:

Life Cycle:

One generation per year. Eggs are laid in the soil in early summer and partially develop then go into a resting stage that is broken by the cool moist conditions of winter. As temperatures rise in spring the egg develops rapidly and hatches in August when there in an abundance of spring feed. The nymphs go through several moults to produce adults that lay eggs from October to November.

Usually they are only seen from Mid August to early December.

Habitats:

Origin and History:

Distribution:

Significance:

They will eat a wide range of food but tend to prefer green material. Usually they do not build up to sufficient numbers to warrant control.

Management and Control:

In most years control is not economical. ULV insecticides and bran baits are effective but may need repeated applications because of the mobility of the grasshopper.

Related Species:

Similar Species:

Locusts, crickets, sandgropers.

References:

CSIRO. The Insects of Australia. Melbourne University Press. (1991) p70, 377.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.