Monday, September 16, 2013

Differential grasshopper - Melanoplus differentialis

Differential Grasshopper - Melanoplus differentialis
The grasshopper that I talked about in a in the previous post "Macro Photography Fun" has been identified and surprisingly it was what I thought it was, after looking through my field guides.  It turns out to be a Differential Grasshopper - Melanoplus differentialis.  What makes it surprising is its distribution: This native grasshopper occurs widely in the central and western regions of the United States, and in northern Mexico; in Canada it occurs in southern Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Within the United States it is absent from the Atlantic and Gulf Coast region, except that it occurs in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland area. It is infrequent in the Pacific Northwest area. Also, within the large geographic area generally inhabited by differential grasshopper, it is rare in arid environments.

The differential grasshoppers considered a severe pest of crops, especially small grains, corn, alfalfa and soybeans.  At times when there is a dense swarm, these grasshoppers can destroy a young corn field in three or four days.  They can be found in heavily weeded areas and grasslands.

Well, now we can add another Differential Grasshopper to one of the grasshoppers found in Massachusetts.The reason I say another is on a Google search I found a couple of pictures of Differential Grasshopper from a few locations in Massachusetts.333
Differential Grasshopper - Melanoplus differentialis

Differential Grasshopper - Melanoplus differentialis
Range