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. It is known mostly for the damage that it inflicts to crops in the Midwest states. The Spur-throated Grasshopper are yellow, orange, or green with additional shades of brown or red. The body may be spectacularly colored in some cases, with bands, spots, or blotches over all of it, and antennae are short.
The female of the species lays her eggs, sometimes as many as 20, straight into the soil, where they sit over the winter months. One generation is produced per year. These nymphs mature early in the summer in northern parts of their range; they are present all year in the Southern states.
Sput-Throated Grasshoppers are generally found in fields and open meadows, traveling from place to place. Their reach may be past the highlighted states, as they have been seen as far north as southern Canada and throughout the United States. Research is underway that utilizes a deliberate fungal infection to kill this species of grasshopper in an effort to control exploding population numbers and save crops.
Scientific Name: Melanoplus ponderosus
Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 45mm (0.98in to 1.76in)
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 above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections 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.