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Melanoplus acidocercusA spur-throat grasshopper
Federal Protection: No US federal protection
State Protection: No Georgia state protection
Global Rank: GU
State Rank: S3
SWAP High Priority Species (SGCN): Yes
Element Occurrences (EOs) in Georgia: 7
Habitat Summary for element in Georgia: Sandhills
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 red. The male cerci are triangular. This species has short wings and is incapable of flight, but is a very strong jumper.
Other related species tend to differ in habitat and range. In the lab, species can be separated by dissecting and observing internal genitalia.
This species is known from open pine forests in sandhills along the coastal plain of southern Georgia and northern Florida.
Probably a generalist feeder on herbaceous plants and tender oak leaves.
Like all Orthopterans, the Melanoplus acidocercus undergoes an incomplete metamorphosis. Adults can be found during late summer to fall.
Walk through savanna to flush and locate grasshoppers. Catch with a net to confirm ID.
Melanoplus acidocercus is found along the Fall Line in Georgia, as well as further south and southeast into the Coastal Plain of Georgia and north Florida.
The primary threats to this species come from development and fragmentation of its habitat. Suppression of fire has also allowed woody species and exotic invasive species to encroach on the open habitat needed by this species.
At present this speice has been documented at four localities in Georgia, all of which are on public land.
Conservation of this species is best conducted by preservation and management of the remaining habitats where it occurs. Reintroduction of fire into the landscape will help maintain and restore suitable habitat.
Hill, J.G. 2009. The grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) fauna of sand dunes along the Little Ohoopee River, Emanuel County, Georgia, USA. Journal of Orthoptera Research. 18: 29-35.
Hill, J.G. 2015. Revision and biogeography of the Melanoplus scudderi species group (Orthoptera: Acrididae) with a description of 21 new species and establishment of the Carnegiei and Davisi species group. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 141: 252-350.
JoVonn G. Hill and Brady S. Dunaway