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Melanoplus foxi Hebard, 1923

a spur-throat grasshopper

Federal Protection: No US federal protection

State Protection: No Georgia state protection

Global Rank: GU

State Rank: s1

SWAP High Priority Species (SGCN): No

Element Occurrences (EOs) in Georgia: 0

Habitat Summary for element in Georgia: Georgia habitat information not available


Description

A small grasshopper (10-27 mm in length).  Brownish in color with black stripe extending laterally from behind the eye down the thorax. Hind tibia are blueish-gray.  The male cerci are slender in distal two-thirds, and slightly enlarged and angulate ventro-distad. This species has short wings and is incapable of flight, but is a very strong jumper. 

Similar Species

Similar to some other species of the Melanoplus puer species group (Sensu Lato) in southern Georgia, but can be distiguished from them by the shape of the male cerci and internal genitalia. 

Habitat

Scrubby undergrowth among longleaf pine woodlands and savannas.

Diet

Probably a generalist herbivore.

Life History

Like all Orthopterans, the Melanoplus nossi undergoes an incomplete metamorphosis. Adults can be found throught the summer months. 

Survey Recommendations

Walk through suitable habitat to flush Melanoplus from resting. Catch specimens with a net to confirm ID.

Range

Melanoplus foxi is endemic to the North American Coastal Plain of Georgia. 

Threats

Timber cutting of the savannas where these grasshoppers are found is their most immediate threat. Also, absence of periodic fires needed to maintain the habitat are likely a contributing factor to declines.

Georgia Conservation Status

Melanoplus foxi is endemic to the North American Coastal Plain of Georgia. There are currently three exant populatations known, two of which are on public land. 

Conservation Management Recommendations

Protect savannas where this species is known to occur from development and timber harvests. Reintroduce fire to retain an open canopy, where possible.

References

Hubble, T.H. 1932. A revision of the Puer Group of the North American genus Melanoplus with remarks on the taxonomic value of the concealed male genitalia in the Cyrtacanthacrininae. (Orthoptera: Acrididae) Miscellaneous Publications of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology No. 23. 64 pp. 

Woller, D.A. and J.G. Hill 2015. Melanoplus foxi Hebard, 1923 (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Melanoplinae): recently rediscovered after almost 60 years using historical field notes. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 141: 545-574.

Authors of Account

JoVonn G. Hill and Brady S. Dunaway

Date Compiled or Updated

12/5/2019