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Grizzly Locust (Melanoplus punctulatus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Grizzly Locust

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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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Image Credit: Dave and Glenda E. from Swaledale, IA
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Image Credit: Dave and Glenda E. from Swaledale, IA
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The black and white Grizzly Locust has streaks of gray, helping it blend in with the tree trunks it perches on.

Updated: 08/12/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Though 'grizzly' often brings to mind the bear or a sour mood, in this case it refers to the color gray, often seen in the grizzled beards of older men. The Grizzly Locust is a type of grasshopper, and it is usually found among the trees, pine trees preferably. It goes by other common names like Mottled Grasshopper thanks to its coloration, and Pine Tree Spur-throat Grasshopper. The large insect has thick black and white bands on its back legs, which may have a gray or red segment as well. It is part of the spur-throated grasshopper family and has a long projection that sticks out of the underside of the throat or 'neck', near the jaw.

The Grizzly Locust may come to lights, and it sometimes seen on wood siding and fences in areas near forests and pine trees, the kind of habitat where females are likely to lay fertilized eggs. They are active from mid-summer through autumn.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Orthoptera
        Family: Acrididae
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          Genus: Melanoplus
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            Species: punctulatus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Melanoplus punctulatus
Other Name(s): Pine Tree Spur-throat Grasshopper; Grizzled Grasshopper; Mottled Grasshopper; Griseous Grasshopper
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 27mm to 45mm (1.06" to 1.77")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; white; gray
Descriptors: black and white legs; jump; fly; neck

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 27mm (1.1in) and 45mm (1.8in)
Lo: 27mm
Md: 36mm
Hi: 45mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Grizzly Locust may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects 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. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Grizzly Locust. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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