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Subfamily Melanoplinae - Spur-throated Grasshoppers

Green Grasshopper - Melanoplus femurrubrum Two-striped Grasshopper - Melanoplus bivittatus - male Grasshopper - Melanoplus yarrowii - female Migratory Grasshopper for PA - Melanoplus sanguinipes - female Melanoplus Unknown Grasshopper at CHP - Melanoplus bivittatus Melanoplus forcipatus - male - female Ruraldale grasshopper - Melanoplus bivittatus - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids)
Suborder Caelifera (Grasshoppers)
Family Acrididae (Short-horned Grasshoppers)
Subfamily Melanoplinae (Spur-throated Grasshoppers)
Other Common Names
Spurthroats, Spurthroat Grasshoppers
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
tribe Melanopli S.H. Scudder, 1897. Based on genus Melanoplus
subfamily Podisminae Jacobson ex Jacobson & V.L.Bianchi, 1905. Based on genus Podisma
subfamily Melanoplinae Uvarov, 1966
subfamily Parapodisminae Inoue, 1985. Based on genus Parapodisma
Explanation of Names
Often considered part of Cyrtacanthacridinae or Catantopinae. Orthoptera Species File Online lists Melanoplinae as a separate subfamily. Maybe closely related to the Neotropical subfamily Proctolabinae, and some genera are occasionally shifted back and forth between various subfamilies as more is learned about them.
The Melanoplinae is one of the largest subfamilies of Grasshoppers.
There are 6 (or 7) recognized tribes, all found in the Americas, but with the tribe Podismini (incl. Prumnini) also well represented in Eurasia.
approximately 100 genera, with a majority being Neotropical or primarily so. The status and limits of many genera and even the tribes are difficult to define, are debated, and are still being resolved.
Holarctic and Neotropical in distribution. The tribes Melanoplinae, Conalcaeini, and Dactylotini are primarily North American; all three are represented north of Mexico. They include most of the genera and species north of Mexico. The tribe Podisminae (+ is primarily Holarctic (North America and Eurasia), with North American species primarily occuring in cold winter northern or mountain regions. The tribes Dichroplini and Jivarini are primarily South American (one or two species of Dichroplini reach north of Mexico).
Widely varied, but a majority occur associated with vegetation near the ground in sunny open areas. There are many exceptions though (some in barren rocky areas; some in trees; some in shade on the ground or in undergrowth of forests; etc.).
Life Cycle
North of Mexico (with a few exceptions) there is one annual generation, overwintering occurs as eggs laid in the ground or in some relatively solid substrate (such as wood or dung), hatching sometime in spring or early summer, with adults found sometime from spring to frost. A very few species overwinter in other stages or have more than one generation per year.
See pages for tribes, genera and species for more discussion.

The subfamily is separated into tribes here due to the large number of genera & species, and to help group similar genera together. Even so, each tribe contains some genera that look very different. Netrosoma is not grouped into any of the tribes, and may not belong to the Melanoplinae at all (perhaps it is in the Proctolabinae or Copiocerinae?). The arrangement of these tribes varies from author to author, and authors have commented on the difficulty of understanding relationships between genera. Arrangements will probably change greatly as molecular studies help to show these relationships more clearly. The arrangement of Orthoptera Species File, has been mostly but not entirely followed here, with earlier authors' arrangements sometimes favored because the OSF treatment places some genera that are very similar into different tribes.
See Also
Cyrtacanthacridinae - Migratory Bird Locusts
Internet References