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Species Melanoplus thomasi - Thomas's Two-striped Grasshopper

Melanoplus thomasi - male Unknown grasshopper 2 - Melanoplus thomasi - female Big blue grasshopper - Melanoplus thomasi - male Melanoplus thomasi - male Bluish grasshopper - Melanoplus thomasi - male Melanopus? - Melanoplus thomasi - male Unidentified Grasshopper - Melanoplus thomasi - female large grasshopper - Melanoplus thomasi - male
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 thomasi (Thomas's Two-striped Grasshopper)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Melanoplus thomasi Scudder, 1897. Type locality: Ciudad Lerdo, Durango, Mexico
Size
Varying dramatically with environmental conditions (and reproductive condition of females)from about 25 to 50 mm, but averaging about 30 to 40 mm. Males are smaller, but often just as long because females tend to have shorter wings.
Identification
Moderately large for the genus, green, often bright bluish green, with two pale stripes along sides of top, and with bright red hind tibiae. M. bivittatus from the northeast and from near the West Coast may look similar, but are never so brightly and contrastingly patterned, and occur in different regions along with more "normal" brownish individuals of that species.
Range
central New Mexico to south central Arizona and south across Trans Pecos Texas well into north central Mexico.
Habitat
Mostly areas of rank herbaceous growth in places like washes, along waterways, in depressions, along roadsides, around irrigated fields, and often in yards. In moist years it often moves into temporarily more rank growth of desert shrubs and annuals.
Life Cycle
Overwinters as eggs with adults from late spring to freezing weather. Usually most common about July through September, but rains can produce late or early hatchings and alter the season or create the false impression of two broods in one year.
Remarks
Very similar to and closely related to Melanoplus bivittatus, and perhaps merely a geographic subpsecies; however, currently treated as a distinct species, and internal male genitalia are different. Where the two occur fairly near to one another in Arizona and New Mexico, they seem to maintain their distinctness. However, it would be interesting to try breeding experiments between the two to learn more of their relationship to one another.