e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

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The Diligent Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis)

To turn the old story of The Ant and the Grasshopper around, here's a grasshopper diligently preparing for the next season by digging a hole in the ground and laying eggs in it.   Hard to be more future-planning-minded  than that.  I was coming back from a bike ride on the land--and the wind was so blustery in my face that I got off in the north horse lot to walk the bike into the back yard instead of riding it.   Hence, I saw this grasshopper before riding right over her as she drilled into the ground right in the gateway.  M. differentialis is common in this area (along with other grasshopper species) and most easily known by the chevrons on the hind legs.   


In the rear view, you can see a little more how the abdomen is extended into the hole she's dug with her ovipositor.   This is the grasshopper that I didn't run over with the bike, because the wind was blowing so hard I was exhausted coming up the rise and got off to walk it into the yard. 


This species is one of the subfamily  Melanoplinae, or "spur-throated grasshoppers."  I'd never been able to see the spur on the throat before, but caught it in the lateral images this time.  Here's a (slightly blurry, as I was focused on the other end of Ms. Grasshopper) photo with an arrow pointing to it.


Tags: grasshopper, insect, native, reproducing, wildlife

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