Melanoplus flavidus Scudder

Adult male

Common name - Yellowish spur-throat grasshopper (Heifer, 1972).

Geographic distribution - Alberta to Manitoba (Canada), south to Arizona, Texas and Illinois (Heifer, 1972). In Colorado it occurs in low numbers in the southern part of the state and is abundant along the foothills and plains near Fort Collins, Colo. (Blatchley, 1920; Gillette, 1904).

Colorado Distribution Map

Habitat - prefers grass in sandy or blowout areas and yucca clumps (Heifer, 1972).

Food habits - forbivorous, preferring sunflower and western ragweed. M. flavidus feeds on alfalfa, cabbage, plum leaves and cherry leaves when the native food supply is short (Blatchley, 1920; Mulkern et al., 1969).

Eggs - pods contain 14 yellow eggs arranged in two or three disorderly columns. Average egg length, 5 mm; average diameter, 1.2 mm (Onsager and Mulkern, 1963).

Nymph - five instars (Ramsey, 1964).

Adult - medium size. General color is olive to red-brown. Face is nearly vertical. Dark band extends back from eyes across lateral lobes of pronotum. Dorsal posterior margin of pronotum usually is rounded. Tegmina are uniform color. Tegmina extend to or beyond tip of abdomen. Hind femora are yellow with two brown bands on outer and upper faces. Hind tibiae are gray-blue. Male cerci taper to a rounded point. Best distinguished from M. bowditchi by the aedeagus, which has a cup-shaped depression at the tip. Male length 20 mm; female, 25 mm (Coppock, 1962).
Cercus Aedeagus

Seasonal history - eggs hatch in early June. Adults appear in late July and are present until mid-September (Gillette, 1904; Mulkern et al., 1964).

Abundance and importance - abundant near Fort Collins, Colo. If the native food plants become scarce M. flavidus is likely to become a serious pest of cultivated crops (Blatchley, 1920).

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Biology of Common Colorado Grasshoppers
Grasshoppers of Colorado Contents