Zayante Band-Winged Grasshopper

Trimerotropis infantilis Weissman, 1984
Date of listing: January, 1997
Federal Status: Endangered
State Status: None

The Zayante band-winged grasshopper is a member of the family Acrididae. Trimerotropis is a large genus (56 species) of small grasshoppers. Most look quite similar. The Zayante band-winged grasshopper is typically brownish-grey with bluish hind legs. When they fly they expose pale yellow hind wings.

Little is known of the life history of this grasshopper. Adults are primarily active between May and August. They are found only in the sandy areas of the Santa Cruz Mountains known as the Zayante sand hills. They share this habitat with several other threatened or potentially threatened organisms including the Mount Hermon June beetle (Polyphylla barbata), the Santa Cruz rain beetle (Pleocoma conjugens conjugens), Santa Cruz cypress (Cupressus abramsiana), and Silverleaf manzanita (Arctostaphylos silvicola). This area also supports disjunct populations of Ponderosa Pine.

The primary threats to the Zayante sand hills have been sand mining and urban development. At the time of listing it was estimated that 60% of the sand hills habitat had been disturbed. Of the remaining habitable area, nearly two-thirds is unprotected (i.e. privately owned) and much is subject to continued mining.

For further reading:
Rentz, D. C. F., and D. B. Weissman, 1984. Five new species of the Band-winged grasshopper genus Trimerotropis Stal (Orthoptera: Oedipodinae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 60:227-237.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) redlist entry

US Fish & Wildlife Service – Environmental Conservation Online

Endangered Species in Santa Cruz County – Species Account

Zayantes Sandhills Conservation Bank


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