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is this a new species - Melanoplus punctulatus - female

is this a new species - Melanoplus punctulatus - Female
Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, USA
October 7, 2009
Size: 2 to 3 inches
I have never seen a grasshopper with a tail this long before. What is this

This is a good illustration
of not only a probable fungus infection, but of how long a [nearly] fully extended female will be when it is depositing eggs in the ground (or perhaps rotted wood or something else).

Moved from Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids.

Moved from ID Request.

This is a female of Melanoplus punctulatus. I'd bet she is infected with a fungus that is about to cause her distended abdomen to liberate spores. Grasshoppers found clinging to very exposed, elevated perches usually indicate this fungal disease.

is it spreadable
what type of fungus, and can we get it. I did not touch it, but just curious as to wether or not it is somethingg that effects humans

The fungus belongs to the Entomophaga grylli species complex, which is grasshopper-specific. It disperses by compelling grasshoppers to climb up objects and cling there until they die, at which point the spores are released. New grasshoppers are infected when spores land on them. There are many other types of fungi with similar life histories, each with a fairly narrow host range, and none of which can affect humans or other vertebrates as far as I know. Example images are collected here.

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