Zayante Band-winged Grasshopper   GRASSHOPPER
Zayante Band-winged Grasshopper
Zayante Band-winged Grasshopper
Scientific Name:
Trimerotropis infantilis
Status/Date Listed as Endangered:
EN-US FWS: January 24, 1997
EN-IUCN: 1996
Area(s) Where Listed As Endangered:

The Zayante band-winged grasshopper is found in a small area of the Santa Cruz Mountains known as the Zayante sand hills. Males range from 0.5 to 0.6 inches in length, and females are larger ranging from 0.7 to 0.8 inches. Its forewings are tan to gray with darker bands, and it has pale yellow hind wings (with one faint, thin band) that can be seen when in flight. Its lower legs (tibiae) are blue and gray. These insects are good fliers and known to fly three to seven feet while producing a buzzing sound to avoid predators, and they seem to prefer landing and resting on the bare ground.

This species is found in open sandy areas that are sparsely covered with lotus, herbs, and grasses at the base of pines. Adults have been seen active only during the day between May and August. Very little is known about the general and reproductive behavior of this species. Grasshoppers are herbivores and feed on plants only. Female grasshoppers are known to lay their fertilized "egg pods" in the ground, in plant roots, or even manure. These egg pods contain several dozen tightly-packed eggs that look like thin rice grains. Grasshoppers generally spend much of their lives as eggs during the colder months and hatch when the weather is warm enough. The first "nymph" (grasshopper hatchling) tunnels its way up to the ground and the others follow.

The primary threat to the species is loss of habitat due to human activities and alterations, such as sand mining and urban and agricultural development. Other threats include the introduction of non-native species, pesticides, and over collecting. This species was listed as endangered in 1997, and small amounts of its habitat are being protected by conservation organizations in California.

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