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  • Differential Grasshopper - (Melanoplus differentialis)

    Differential Grasshopper - (Melanoplus differentialis)

    The medium-sized Differential Grasshopper is known both for its chevron markings and its destructive appetite.

    Staff Writer (11/21/2013): Most prevalent in the central U.S., this grasshopper has distinguishing stripes on its 'thighs'. The black herringbone pattern is not unique to this species, but it is rare to see on other grasshoppers. Their back legs also have spines on them. They have short, horned antennae and produce a buzzing noise by rubbing their hind wings against their fore wings (not their legs).

    This species is well-adapted to urban living and can make empty lots, gardens and overgrown areas a home. They also live in meadows, grasslands and other open areas. Females lay eggs in large quantities and the larvae hatch in spring.

    Adults are most active in the summer and are social, often moving around with other grasshoppers. They can be considered agricultural pests as they feed on crops such as corn, grapes, alfalfa and fruits, destroying harvests. They also feed on ragweed (an allergen to many people) so they can be beneficial in a sense as well.

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    Details of the:
    Differential Grasshopper

    Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
    Common name: Differential Grasshopper
    Scientific Name: Melanoplus differentialis

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Orthoptera
          Family: Acrididae
           Genus: Melanoplus
            Species: differentialis

    Size (Adult, Length): 28mm to 44mm (1.10in to 1.73in)

    Identifying Colors: beige, black, ivory, green, white, yellow/ pink

    Additional Descriptors: stripes, chevrons, spines, harmful

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; Nevada; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; Manitoba; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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