Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Pezotettix occidentalis Bruner, 1876. Type locality: Omaha, Nebraska [unavailable later homonym in genus Melanoplus; primary homonym is Melanoplus occidentallis (Thomas, 1872) Bruner, 1893]
Melanoplus walshii Scudder, 1897. Type locality: Rock Island, Illinois
Melanoplus amplectens Scudder, 1897. Type locality: Bee Spring, Edmonson County, Kentucky
Melanoplus blatchleyi Scudder, 1897 [nom. nov. for Pezotettix occidentalis Bruner 1876 in genus Melanoplus]
18 - 30 mm; females much larger than males
Hind tibiae red; hind femur distinctly cross-banded with dark on outer side.
Tegmina short, but roughly same length as pronotum, overlapping above, usually (when folded) with pale stripes along top edge that continue forward along sides of pronotum.
Very similar to M. nigrescens and M. querneus, which are found nearer the coast from North Carolina into Florida. Those species average larger, the male cerci are wider, and the top of the (usually longer) folded tegmina average more evenly pale and contrasted with the darker sides.
Particularly similar to M. alabamae, which occurs to the south in Alabama and perhaps Mississippi. M. alabamae tends to have slightly longer wings, less pronounced pale dorsal stripes, and minute male furculae (small but well-developed in M. walshii. Male cerci of M. alabamae are slightly larger and more expanded apically, with a more evident angle on the lower side near the end (overall, a bit closer to "boot-shaped").
Minnesota to Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and Nebraska.
from Blatchley, 1920: "inhabits thickets of shrubbery, and herbage in and near deciduous woodlands ... and sometimes extends its habitat into adjoining fields.
from Lugger, 1898 (via Blatchley): "... preferring the edges of forests or places overgrown with bushes and vines. The grapevine, especially, is preferred by these locusts, and they soon destroy its foliage by eating big holes in the leaves."
Generally late, adults maturing June thru September and lasting until frost.
Click on this image for life cycle photos: