Fall is the season for seeing grasshoppers! Hatching from eggs in the spring, many grasshoppers don't reach their full size until late summer or early fall. Even though the weather is getting colder, there are still a number of species that can be spotted across Illinois—look for them before the first hard frost.
The longhorn band-wing grasshopper (Psinidia fenestralis) is one of the smallest grasshoppers in Illinois. Its banded eyes and reddish-orange wing patches set it apart from other species. Look for it in high-quality sand prairies across the state.
The Carolina grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina) is one of the largest and most common grasshoppers found in Illinois. Though its body color varies, the species is still easily identified by its large size and distinctive black wings. Look for the Carolina grasshopper around manmade habitats, like sidewalks and parking lots.
The admirable grasshopper (Syrbula admirabilis), also called the handsome grasshopper, has an extremely slanted face—a characteristic that all species in the Gomphocerinae subfamily share. Look for these "handsome" grasshoppers in sandy areas across Illinois. The male and female in this species have very different coloration. The female is mostly green and brown, while the male is largely black and white.
The American bird grasshopper (Schistocerca americana) is the longest grasshopper species in Illinois—it can grow up to 2.75 inches long! Its large wings make it a prodigious flyer. Look for this distinctly-patterned grasshopper in fields and open woodlands.