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.

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 April 19, 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 April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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