About this tool


Grasshoppers of the Western U.S., Edition 4 combines two sites into one: Grasshoppers of the Western U.S., Edition 3 and Common Nymphal Grasshoppers of the Western U.S. The tool now offers keys to identify both adult and pre-adult stages of many of the most commonly encountered grasshoppers in the western U.S. Several new species were added to the adult key with this update, so the adult key now facilitates the identification of 76 species of adult grasshoppers occurring in the western United States. New characters have been added to the adult key which refer to the location and time of the collection of adult grasshoppers to be identified. This will allow more rapid identification of specimens as these characters may eliminate some otherwise similar species from the potential species list. The nymphal key characters were re-ordered to better reflect the most efficient process for keying your specimens. This new edition also offers a fact sheet search function, as well as a filterable image gallery.

This tool enables identification of many adult and nymphal grasshoppers of the Western United States. All species included are in the family Acrididae with the exception of one, Brachystola magna, which is in the family Romaleidae. The tool was created by USDA APHIS ITP through collaboration with the CPHST Phoenix Lab and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Several new taxa were added in July 2020. These include Boopedon gracile, Melanoplus bispinosus, and Schistocerca.

The keys are designed for people with varying degrees of knowledge identifying rangeland grasshoppers, from the general enthusiast to research scientist. See the keys page if you need help determining whether your specimen is an adult or a nymph. The terminology is supported by a glossary. Most photos and drawings are by Dr. Robert Pfadt from the University of Wyoming, with additional photos by Mathew L. Brust from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Alexander Harman from Oklahoma State University.

We have also developed a mobile app version of the key and fact sheets. Once downloaded onto your smartphone or tablet, this Lucid Mobile app works without an internet connection, allowing you to to use the key and fact sheets even in remote areas. The app is available for free for Android at the Google Play Store and for iOS at the App Store.