Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Grasshopper Takes To The Trees On Prairie Research Site

Date:
July 24, 2005
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
Grass stretches as far as the eye can see across the U.S. Great Plains, and more than 100 species of grasshoppers live in the swaying fronds. But one plains-dwelling grasshopper species prefers trees to grass, as a discovery at the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site shows.

The grizzly spur-throat grasshopper is a large, slow-moving insect that is nearly impossible to see against lichen-covered tree bark.
Credit: Konza Prairie LTER site

Grass stretches as far as the eye can see across the U.S. Great Plains, and more than 100 species of grasshoppers live in the swaying fronds. But one plains-dwelling grasshopper species prefers trees to grass, as a discovery at the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site shows.

Related Articles


A Kansas student from Fort Riley Middle School collected the first specimen while participating in Konza's LTER schoolyard project. According to Valerie Wright, Konza's education coordinator, the specimen wasn't recognized at first to be a new species to inhabit the Konza Prairie.

Konza scientist Ted Hopkins later identified the rare, tree-dwelling creature as the grizzly spur-throat grasshopper.

"LTER schoolyard projects provide wonderful opportunities for students of all ages to become involved in the excitement of science," said Henry Gholz, LTER program director at NSF. "Often, in cases such as this, students are responsible for collecting valuable field data and increasing our knowledge of the natural world."

Melanoplus punctualatus, as the grasshopper is known to scientists, was first identified in the United States in 1862. It's usually found in eastern hardwood forests and in the pine forests of the southeast. The species had been reported only twice in Kansas.

"Its discovery on Konza is a big surprise," Hopkins said.

He discovered two of the unusual grasshoppers basking in the sun on the wall of an old house located on the Konza site. Wright, who is also an entomologist, later found five more on tree trunks near the house.

The grasshopper is a large, slow-moving insect, Hopkins said, "and given its protective coloration--medium-gray speckled with dark dots, sometimes with yellowish and whitish areas--it disappears against lichen-covered tree bark."

Hopkins thinks the Konza Prairie grasshoppers are found only along wooded areas near creeks. He is continuing his research near trees where the grasshoppers have been seen, watching for tiny first-stage insects that hatch from eggs and trying to collect enough adults to determine their feeding habits.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Grasshopper Takes To The Trees On Prairie Research Site." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050718234418.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2005, July 24). Grasshopper Takes To The Trees On Prairie Research Site. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050718234418.htm
National Science Foundation. "Grasshopper Takes To The Trees On Prairie Research Site." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050718234418.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins