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Female Melanoplus chattahoochee. Photo by the Mississippi Entomological Museum. Image may be subject to copyright.
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Melanoplus chattahoochee Hill, 2015

Chattahoochee Grasshopper

Federal Protection: No US federal protection

State Protection: No Georgia state protection

Global Rank: GNR

State Rank: S1

SWAP High Priority Species (SGCN): No

Element Occurrences (EOs) in Georgia: 5

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 red.  The male cerci are triangular. This species has short wings and is incapable of flight, but is a very strong jumper. 

Similar Species

May occur within range of M. muscogee. In the lab, species can be separated by the shape of the male cerci, which are triangular in M. chattahoochee and falcate in M. muscogee, and by dissecting and observing male internal genitalia.

Habitat

This species is known from open savannas/woodlands dominated by longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) and turkey oak (Quercus laevis) among the Fall Line sandhills of western Georgia.

Diet

Likely a generalist feeder on herbaceous vegetation. 

Life History

Like all Orthopterans, the Melanoplus chattahoochee undergoes an incomplete metamorphosis. Adults may be found in late summer to fall. 

Survey Recommendations

Walk through savanna vegetation to flush and locate grasshoppers. Catch with a net to confirm ID.

Range

Melanoplus chattahoochee is endemic to the Fall Line sandhills region of western 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, three populations are known. These all occur on public land. 

Conservation Management Recommendations

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.

References

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.

Authors of Account

JoVonn G. Hill and Brady S. Dunaway

Date Compiled or Updated

12/2/2019

Male Melanoplus chattahoochee. Photo by the Mississippi Entomological Museum. Image may be subject to copyright.