Scudder’s short-wing grasshopper

(Melanoplus scudderi)

Conservation Status
Scudder’s short-wing grasshopper
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Scudder’s short-wing grasshopper is a medium-sized spur-throated grasshopper. It occurs in the United States east of the Great Plains, and in southern Ontario Canada. It is the most common short-winged Melanoplus in this area. It is uncommon in Minnesota, where it is at the northwest extent of its range. Nymphs are found in spring and early summer. Adults are found from August through November in dry to moderately moist, open, shrubby and weedy areas, and in woodland edges and openings.

Adults are dull brown or reddish-brown. Females are to 1 (16 to 28 mm) long. Males are smaller, 916 to 1516 (14.5 to 24.2 mm) long.

The head is slightly wider than the exoskeletal plate covering the thorax (pronotum). The top of the head (vertex) is rounded in profile. The face is vertical. The antennae have 22 segments beyond the basal segments (scape and pedicel), and are no more than ½ the length of the body. There is usually a moderately to well-developed dark stripe behind each compound eye that continues on the pronotum to the second abdominal segment, but this is sometimes indistinct or absent.

The pronotum is broadly convex above when viewed from the front, and is slightly ridged (keeled). It does not project over the abdomen. The shoulders are distinct and broadly rounded. The rear (posterior) margin is broadly rounded. There is a distinct, spiny bump (spur) at the base of the neck, between the base of the forelegs.

There is a pair of flat, round, hearing organs (tympani) on the sides of the first abdominal segment. The lower end plate beneath the genitalia (the subgenital plate) is bulbous. On the male, the top edge of the subgenital plate abruptly curves upward. The sensory appendages at the end of the abdomen (cerci) are roughly boot shaped. On the female the ovipositor is short.

The forewings (tegmina) are egg-shaped and short, usually extending just to the forward edge of the second abdominal segment. They may be shorter or slightly longer than the pronotum. The inner margins overlap or are only slightly separated. The tegmina are unmarked and uniformly dark. The hindwings are clear.

On the hind pair of legs, the outer face of the robust, third segment (femur) is not banded. The upper (dorsal) face usually has two dark spots. The fourth segment (tibia) is red and has a row of 12 or 13 spines. The spines, at least at the tip, are black. On all of the legs, the end section corresponding to the foot (tarsus) has three segments.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Male: 916 to 1516 (14.5 to 24.2 mm)

Female: to 1 (16 to 28 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Dry to moderately moist, open, shrubby and weedy areas, woodland edges and openings

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

August to November

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

Shoots and other easily digested parts of the same plants that adults feed on.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Broad-leaved plants

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

19, 24, 29, 30, 82.

 
  10/26/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids)  
 

Suborder

Caelifera (grasshoppers)  
  Infraorder Acrididea  
 

No Rank

Acridomorpha  
 

Superfamily

Acridoidea  
 

Family

Acrididae (short-horned grasshoppers)  
 

Subfamily

Melanoplinae (spur-throated grasshoppers)  
 

Tribe

Melanoplini  
 

Genus

Melanoplus  
       
 

The genus Melanoplus contains as many as 239 species, all of which occur in North America. It is likely to be split in the future into nine to nineteen or even more genera.

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Until recently three subspecies were recognized. The subspecies occurring in Minnesota was M. s. scudderi. A revision of the species published In 2015 raised two of the subspecies to species level. No subspecies are currently recognized.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Scudder’s short-wing grasshopper

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Keeled

Folded, as in a grass blade, or with a raised ridge, as in a grass sheath; like the keel of a boat.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Tarsus

On insects, the last two to five subdivisions of the leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. On spiders, the last segment of the leg. Plural: tarsi.

 

Tegmen

The modified, leathery front wing of some insects that protects the hindwing. It may also serve as a camouflage, a defensive display, or a sound board. Plural: tegmina.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

Tympanum

An external hearing structure. In reptiles and amphibians, the circular, disk-like membrane that covers the ear opening. In insects, the membrane covering the air sac and sensory neurons. Plural: tympani.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Luciearl

 
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Other Videos
 
  SCUDDER'S SHORT WINGED GRASSHOPPER mating. Melanoplus scudderi
Rob Curtis
 
   
 
About

Jan 1, 2018

Melanoplus scudderi SCUDDER'S SHORTWINGED GRASSHOPPER mating pair. Mark Twain NF, MO. 9/7/2017

 
       

 

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  Luciearl
9/28/2020

Location: Cass County

Scudder’s short-wing grasshopper  
           
 
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Created: 10/26/2020

Last Updated:

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