198-Grasshopper (Melanoplus spp. & Camnula sp.)
Fact Sheet No. 198, UMaine Extension No. 2368
Prepared by Judith A. Collins, Assistant Scientist, and H. Y. Forsythe, Jr., Professor of Entomology, in cooperation with David Yarborough, Extension Blueberry Specialist, The University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. November 1995.
The hind legs are large and adapted for jumping. They vary in color from greenish-yellow to gray to brown to brownish-black (Photo 1). All vary in size up to 1 1/4-inches long when fully grown. Immature grasshoppers are smaller and closely resemble adults but do not have wings (Photo 2).
Most grasshoppers spend the winter in the egg stage in the soil. The time for egg-laying varies with the species of grasshopper, but normally it begins after the middle of July and may continue through September for some species. Eggs are placed well below the surface of the ground, preferably in the firm, unbroken soil along roadsides, edges of fields, or in open areas of managed fields. Eggs begin to hatch in early to late May and the young grasshoppers, called nymphs, push to the surface of the ground and begin feeding on the nearest vegetation. The grasshoppers begin to become adults in early to late June and continue to feed on foliage and berries.
Damage and Economic Importance
Several species of grasshoppers have been observed feeding on blueberries in Maine. The extent of damage varies from year to year depending on the species of grasshopper, numbers present, and weather. Both young grasshoppers and adults feed by chewing foliage and by biting and chewing on berries. Feeding damage is often detected later as a calloused scar on the fruit (Photo 3).
For information regarding monitoring and control, contact the lowbush blueberry specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 1.800.897.0757 (toll-free in Maine) or 207.581.2923.
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