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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