Loading profile...

Loading profile. Please wait . . .

Melanoplus tumidicercus Male. Photo by Mississippi Entomological Museum. Image subject to copyright.
range map button NatureServe button About button

Melanoplus tumidicercus Hubbell, 1932

A spur-throat grasshopper

Federal Protection: No US federal protection

State Protection: No Georgia state protection

Global Rank: GU

State Rank: S2

SWAP High Priority Species (SGCN): Yes

Element Occurrences (EOs) in Georgia: 0

Habitat Summary for element in Georgia: Pine woods


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 subquadrate (almost rectangular), but with the ventral terminal apex extended into a point. This species has short wings and is incapable of flight, but is a very strong jumper. 

Similar Species

Most similar in size and appearance to M. stegocercus, but differs in the shape of the male cerci and internal genitalia.

Habitat

Found in the upper coastal plains of east-central Georgia. Located in patches Gopher apple (Licania michauxii Prance) amid longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) and oak savannas.

Diet

Probably a generalist feeder on herbaceous plants and tender oak leaves.  Often found in clumps of Gopher apple (Licania michauxii Prance).

Life History

Like all Orthopterans, the Melanoplus tumidicercus undergoes an incomplete metamorphosis.

Survey Recommendations

More surveys are needed. 

Range

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

Threats

The primary threats to this species come from development and fragmentation of its habitat, combined with a naturally narrow range. Suppression of fire has also allowed woody species and exotic invasive species to encroach on the open habitat needed by this species.

Georgia Conservation Status

At present only one extant population is known. This population is on private land. 

Conservation Management Recommendations

One known location for this species is a conservation concern.  Protect land where the species is known to occur from development and timber harvest.  Reintroduce fire at the appropriate internal where possible.  Survey to identify if more locations for this species exist within Georgia.  

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. 

Authors of Account

JoVonn G. Hill and Brady S. Dunaway

Date Compiled or Updated

12/3/19

Melanoplus tumidicercus female. Photo by Mississippi Entomological Museum. Image subject to copyright.