OBJECT OF THE MONTH - February, 2006

Grasshoppers (Order Orthoptera, Family Acrididae) The Gordon Alexander Collection

A specimen of Orthoptera, Family Acrididae, from the Gordon Alexander Grasshopper Collection.

Dr. Gordon Alexander (1916-1971) was Professor of Biology at the University of Colorado, a distinguished scientist, who also served as acting head of this Museum. The Gordon Alexander Collection of Grasshoppers consists of 24,000 grasshoppers from a three year altitudinal survey of elevations from the Front Range at Boulder to alpine environments of the Rocky Mountains.

By giving us a glimpse into the diversity of grasshoppers nearly a half century ago, the collection serves as a baseline for understanding the affects of climate change, land use practices and elevation on species diversity. The Alexander Grasshopper collection measures the decrease in community diversity across elevation and vegetation zones.
What can grasshoppers tell us about global climate change? How can we use grasshoppers to monitor the health of our changing landscape?
Learn more about the Gordon Alexander Collection and Colorado grasshoppers at Grasshoppers and Climate Change.