Insect Identification logo

Spur-throated Grasshopper (Melanoplus ponderosus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Spur-throated Grasshopper.


 Updated: 2/5/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Spur-throated Grasshopper  
Picture of Spur-Throated-Grasshopper


The popular Spur-Throated Grasshopper is a pest of the highest order, ruining harvests across the Bread Basket of the continent.





Spur-Throated Grasshoppers (part of the Short-horned Grasshopper family) are the most common species of grasshopper in all of North America. Noted mostly for the damage that inflict to crops in the Midwest states, the Spur-Throated Grasshopper appears as a yellow, orange or green insect with additional coloring of brown or red. The body may be spectacularly colored in some cases, with bands, spots or blotches throughout and antennas are generally short.

The female of the species tends to lay her eggs (sometimes as many as 20 eggs) straight into the soil, where they will sit over the winter months. One generation is produced per year. These nymphs will then mature early in the summer (all year in the Southern states) and feed through the month of December only to have the process repeated again with new generations the following year.

Sput-Throated Grasshoppers will generally be found in fields and open meadows, traveling from place to place. Their reach may be past the mentioned states, as they have been known to reach as far north as southern Canada and throughout the United States. Research is underway that utilizes deliberate fungal infections that kill this species of grasshopper in an effort to control exploding population numbers.
Basic Information
Common Name: Spur-throated Grasshopper
Scientific Name: Melanoplus ponderosus
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 45mm (0.98in to 1.76in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: green; brown; black
Additional Descriptors: flying, jumping, harmful




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Orthoptera
Family: Acrididae
Genus: Melanoplus
Species: ponderosus




Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Spur-throated Grasshopper may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


BugFinder: What is It?
BUGFINDER SEARCH TOOL
BUGFINDER SEARCH TOOL