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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Melanoplus angustipennis - Narrow-winged Spur-throat Grasshopper

Melanoplus angustipennis - male Melanoplus flavidus? - Melanoplus angustipennis - male Narrow-winged Spur-throat Grasshopper - Melanoplus angustipennis - female Melanoplus angustipennis - male Yellow grasshopper with red tibia (2) - Melanoplus angustipennis Melanoplus angustipennis - female Melanoplus angustipennis - male Melanoplus angustipennis - female
Classification
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)
Tribe Melanoplini
Genus Melanoplus
Species angustipennis (Narrow-winged Spur-throat Grasshopper)
Other Common Names
Narrow-winged Locust
Narrow-winged Sand Grasshopper
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Caloptenus angustipennis G.M. Dodge, 1877. Type locality: Banks of Elkhorn River, Dodge County, Nebraska
Melanoplus angustipennis (G.M. Dodge) L. Bruner, 1886
Melanoplus coccineipes S.H. Scudder, 1897. Type locality: Nebraska Sandhills [type series was from various localities in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Ontario, Utah.]
Melanoplus comptus Scudder, 1897. Type locality: Cheyenne County, Sidney, Nebraska
Melanoplus impiger Scudder, 1897. Type locality: Barber County, Kansas
Melanoplus angustipennis coccineipes (Scudder) E.M. Walker, 1909
Melanoplus angustipennis impiger (Scudder) Hebard 1938
Identification
Very similar to M. foedus & packardii, but much smaller (averaging well under 30 mm long), usually without prominent median dark stripe on top of pronotum and head, and without white stripes along top margins of pronotum; male furculae proportionately longer and less divergent; male subgenital plate usually squared off or notched at the tip (as opposed to rounded or slightly pointed). Hind tibia is varied in color, usually reddish or bluish.

M. sanguinipes is similar in size, shape and sometimes in pattern. It differs in having short almost triangular cerci (as apposed to dumbbell-shaped); there is a lump under the mid front part of the male thorax (sometimes also the female - missing in M. angustipennis); and, the pattern is usually more broken and less "smooth" looking. In M. sanguinipes the principal sulcus (strongest and rear-most groove) divides the mid-line of the pronotum roughly in half, while in M. angustipennis it is normally well to the rear of half. M. arizonae & bruneri are more similar to M. sanguinipes.

M. bispinosus looks more like M. sanguinipes in color pattern, but might be confused for M. angustipennis, which is structurally more similar. The cerci are smaller, more slender, and bend in toward the tip; the subgenital plate is rounded apically; the supra-anal plate is strongly constricted past the middle with a prominent lump on either side at this constriction (thus the name "bispinosus", though they are hardly "spines), while it is more evenly triangular and with nearly straight sides in M. angustipennis.
Range
Widely distributed east from Rockies in U.S. and southern Canada, but absent from most of ne. U.S. and e. Canada east of the Great Lakes. Westernmost records apparently in Montana, Utah and Arizona. Most abundant on the Great Plains and in the Midwest.
Habitat
Typically in sandy areas in grassland or on sunny river sand deposits.