Sunday, November 15, 2009

Differential Grasshopper - Melanoplus differentialis - Female

Differential Grasshopper - Melanoplus differentialis - Female
(Photo:  Marvin Smith on 10/8/09)

IDENTIFICATION: General color is yellow to yellowish-brown with contrasting black markings ... wings are colorless ... black herringbone markings on outer face of hind femora ... hind tibiae are yellow with black spines and a narrow black ring near the knee ... average length for males is around 1 1/4" ... females are larger, averaging around 1 3/4".

RANGE: One of the more common grasshoppers. Can be found throughout most of the U. S.

FOOD: A mixed feeder that prefers grasses, especially lush vegetation in moist crop area (i. e. corn, clover, alfalfa and various garden crops). Although M. differentialis can be a serious pest in cultivated crops, it's usually not a problem in grasslands.

SEASON: Adults are common in the latter part of July. They deposit eggs from mid-August to October, and the eggs overwinter.

OVIPOSITON: Eggs are [normally] deposited in raised plant crowns of somewhat isolated clumps of sod. Common oviposition sites are compact roads, deserted fields, edges of weed patches and well-grazed areas near weedy ravines. Why the female pictured above chose to oviposit in a nail hole on our porch steps, I do not know. It was not a good choice.

Sources and links:
BugGuide Species Page
Grasshoppers of Colorado



Crafty Green Poet said...

wonderful markings she has!

ramblingwoods said...

Wonderful catch Marvin..I like taking photos of the grasshoppers around my yard, but haven't gotten a great shot like this. ..Michelle

Eve said...

Oh my - they are so detailed! What a great photo!

MObugs said...

WoW, talk about timing, great capture!

lisaschaos said...

She's pretty! I don't see many grasshoppers anymore. But how odd she chose your step for her eggs. :)

awarewriter said...

That is one terrific photo of a grasshopper. The detail is superb.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Amazing photo Marvin. I can even see the little eggs collecting there.

Dave Ingram said...

Cool shot!