2022 November 15
Identification of Melanoplus Grasshoppers.
On November 1 and 4 we posted photographs of grasshoppers by Cheryl Hoyle and Aziza Cooper. These were kindly identified for us by James Miskelly as Melanoplus sanguinipes.
According to Merrill Peterson, there are about 50 species of grasshopper in the genus Melanoplus in the Pacific Northwest. We have therefore labelled previous photographs of Melanoplus on this site as merely “Melanoplus sp.” James tells us, however, that only three of these occur regularly on Vancouver Island, and they are not impossible to identify. These are: M. sanguinipes, M. femurrrubrum and M. bivittatus. James writes: The species that is most similar to sanguinipes on Vancouver Island is M. femurrubrum, which does not have dark stripes on the outer face of the hind femur and (in our area) is rarely found outside of salt marsh habitat. The third Melanoplus on Vancouver Island is M. bivittatus, which looks quite different. It has a light stripe on each side that extends from above the eye through the pronotum and down the tegmen. The outer face of the hind femur is dark above the midline and light below. It’s found in relatively moist meadows.
So – that should make it easy for all those who know what a pronotum, a tegmen and a femur are. Of course, we have other grasshoppers to contend with, which are not in the genus Melanoplus.
Jeremy Tatum writes: I saw my first male Winter Moth of the season at my Saanich apartment this morning. I’m sure it won’t be my last.
Ian Cooper decided to go for a bike ride to Colquitz River Park and the Galloping Goose Trail in View Royal last night (November 14, 2022) to see what interesting creatures he might see. He was not disappointed. He asks that we enjoy his pictures. I don’t think that will be hard.
Pimoa altioculata (Ara.: Pimoidae) Ian Cooper
Linyphiid spider (Ara,: Linyphiidae) Ian Cooper
Metellina sp. (Ara.: Tetragnathidae) Ian Cooper
Antrodiaetus pacificus (Ara.: Antrodiaetidae) Ian Cooper
Water Strider (Pond Skater) (Hem.: Gerridae) Ian Cooper
Arion subfuscus (Pul.: Arionidae) Ian Cooper