spur-throated grasshopper

(Melanoplus spp.)

               
Overview

Melanoplus is a large genus of North American grasshoppers. There are at least 369 species of Melanoplus worldwide, at least 239 species in North America north of Mexico, and at least 27 species in Minnesota. The genus is likely to be split in the future into nine to nineteen or even more genera. Adults and nymphs feed on mostly leaves, but also flowers, fruit, and bark, of mostly broad-leaved forbs and shrubs, but some feed on grasses, some on trees.

spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sp.)

  Photo by Alfredo Colon
Identification

Adults can be small to relatively large, and may be brown, green, gray, or yellow. All have a spur below between the bases of their front legs. The top of the head is rounded in profile. The face is vertical or only slightly slanted. There is usually a dark stripe behind each compound eye that continues on the upper plate covering the thorax (pronotum). The pronotum is broadly convex above and is often slightly ridged.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 19, 24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
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Taxonomy

Order:

Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids)

 

Suborder:

Caelifera (grasshoppers)

 

No Rank:

Acridomorpha

 

Superfamily:

Acridoidea

 

Family:

Acrididae (short-horned grasshoppers)

 

Subfamily:

Melanoplinae (spur-throated grasshoppers)

 

Tribe:

Melanoplini

 

Genus:

Melanoplus

 
Subordinate Taxa

Bruner’s spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus bruneri)

Dawson’s grasshopper (Melanoplus dawsoni)

differential grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis)

flabellate grasshopper (Melanoplus occidentalis)

Gladston’s spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus gladstoni)

graceful grasshopper (Melanoplus gracilis)

green-legged grasshopper (Melanoplus viridipes)

huckleberry grasshopper (Melanoplus fasciatus)

Huron short-wing grasshopper (Melanoplus huroni)

island short-wing grasshopper (Melanoplus islandicus)

Keeler’s spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus keeleri-luridus)

little spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus infantilis)

migratory grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes)

narrow-winged spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus angustipennis)

northern spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus borealis)

Packard’s grasshopper (Melanoplus packardii)

pasture grasshopper (Melanoplus confusus)

pine tree spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus punctulatus-griseus)

ponderous spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus ponderosus)

red-legged grasshopper (Melanoplus femurrubrum)

Scudder’s short-wing grasshopper (Melanoplus scudderi)

Stone’s grasshopper (Melanoplus stonei)

striped sand grasshopper (Melanoplus foedus)

two-striped grasshopper (Melanoplus bivittatus)

Walsh’s short-wing grasshopper (Melanoplus walshii)

Yarrow’s grasshopper (Melanoplus yarrowii)

yellowish spur-throat grasshopper (Melanoplus flavidus)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

The genus Melanoplus has no common name. The name of the subfamily Melanoplinae is spur-throated grasshoppers and is used here for convenience.

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Pronotum

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

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sp.)   spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sp.)
       
  spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sp.)   spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sp.)
       
  spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sp.)   spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sp.)
       
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Alfredo Colon
8/10/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sp.)


Alfredo Colon
8/7/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sp.)


Alfredo Colon
8/6/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sp.)


Alfredo Colon
8/4/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sp.)


     
     
 
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Created: 10/27/2020

Last Updated:

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