Flabellate Grasshopper

Melanoplus occidentalis (Thomas)

Melanoplus occidentalis, the flabellate grasshopper, is common in the prairies of eastern Wyoming. It is rare in the desert southwest. It is reported to prefer areas of the mixedgrass prairies but does well on shortgrass prairies in Wyoming. Eggs overwinter in the soil and hatch in May or June. Adults are present from late June through August. This grasshopper is a mixed feeder but prefers forbs and may do significant damage to prickly pear blossoms. Damage to rangeland can occur, usually in conjunction wih other species.
Ref: Pfadt 1989, and Capinera and Sechrist 1982.

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