spur-throated grasshopper

(Melanoplus spp.)

Overview
spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sp.)
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  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.      
           
 
Description
 
 

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.

 
  10/27/2020      
         
 
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  
       
 

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.)      
           
 
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  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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