differential grasshopper

(Melanoplus differentialis)

Conservation Status
differential grasshopper
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Differential grasshopper is a common, large, long-winged, spur-throated, short-horned grasshopper. It occurs across the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, and in California, Mexico, and Ontario Canada. It is common in the southern half of Minnesota, where it is at the northern extent of its range.

The body of the male is 1 to 13 16 long and yellowish-brown or army green. The female is larger than the male.

There are no pale stripes on the upper (dorsal) part of the pronotum. On the sides of the pronotum there are 3 narrow, black, vertical grooves. There is a distinct, spiny bump (spur) at the base of the neck, between the base of the forelegs. The antennae are usually yellow, sometimes reddish-yellow, and are no more than ½ the length of the body. The pair of long appendages on the last abdominal segment (cerci) are boot-shaped with a heel, but this is not visible without a hand lens.

On the middle pair of legs, the foot (tarsus) is divided into two segments. On the hind pair of legs, the narrow upper portion (the outer face) of the hind third leg segment (femur) is yellow. The narrow lower portion (the inner face) of the hind femur is yellow. The middle portion of the femur, the broad area between the outer face and inner face, is grooved in a distinct, black, herringbone pattern.The fourth segment (tibia) of the hind leg is yellow with black, tooth-like spines. The remaining tibia are yellowish.

The wings are long, projecting beyond the tip of the abdomen when at rest.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

1 to 13 16

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Low, moist areas, crop borders, roadsides.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

July to October. One generation.

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Differential grasshopper is a strong flier.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The female thrusts her ovipositor into sod or rank vegetation and deposits a pod containing 45 to 194 eggs. The pods are curved and are about 1½ long and ¼ in diameter. She continues depositing egg pods, ultimately laying up to 600 or more eggs. The eggs hatch in the late spring when plants are green, most over a period of about 14 days. The nymphs mature into adults in about 32 days. Nymphal development is well synchronized, and most transform into adults in just a few days.

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

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

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Forbs and grasses, especially plants in the Aster family (Asteraceae), including giant ragweed, common sunflower, and prickly lettuce.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 19, 24, 27, 29, 30.

 
  10/3/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common. Significant crop pest.

 
         
 
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  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

differential grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis differentialis)

differential grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis nigricans) (?)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

differential grasshopper

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Femur

In insects, the largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. In humans, the thigh bone.

 

Pronotum

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

 

Tibia

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  differential grasshopper   differential grasshopper
       
  differential grasshopper   differential grasshopper
       
  differential grasshopper   differential grasshopper
       
  differential grasshopper   differential grasshopper
       
Margot Avey
       

This photo was taken in my neighbors back yard in St Louis Park, MN. Have never seen anything like it.

  differential grasshopper    
       
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Female

  differential grasshopper   differential grasshopper
       

Male and Female

  differential grasshopper    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis)
Bill Keim
 
  Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis)  
     
  Melanoplus differentialis (Differential Grasshopper)
Allen Chartier
 
  Melanoplus differentialis (Differential Grasshopper)  

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis)
David Podgor
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 23, 2012

Differential grasshopper also known as Melanoplus differentialis, found in Montgomery Village, Maryland in August 2012. For more information on this species, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differential_grasshopper

   
       
  Differential Grasshopper curiosity
Carol Snow Milne
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 21, 2013

Large 1.50 inch long Melanoplus differentialis grasshopper is curious about my ruler and likes to bite it and is uncertain how to walk on this unusual new shiny slippery surface. Eastern Pennsylvania.

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
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Alfredo Colon
September 2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

differential grasshopper


Alfredo Colon
August 2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

differential grasshopper


Alfredo Colon
8/19/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

differential grasshopper


Alfredo Colon
8/12/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

differential grasshopper


Alfredo Colon
8/5/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

differential grasshopper


Margot Avey
7/17/2020

Location: St. Louis Park, MN

differential grasshopper


         
         
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