Orthoptera of North Carolina
Scientific Name: Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
»
View Acrididae Members: NC Records

Metaleptea brevicornis (Johannson, 1763) - Clipped-Wing Grasshopper



Female

Male
Taxonomy
Family: Acrididae Subfamily: Acridinae Tribe: HyalopteryginiSynonym: Tryaxilis brevicornis
Comments: One of two species in this genus and the only one that occurs in North America north of Mexico (Cigliano et al., 2018)
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Capinera et al. (2004)Online Photographs: BugGuide, OSF, Google Images, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Blatchley (1920); Otte (1981)                                                                                  
Comments: A medium-large, green and brown, Slant-faced Grasshopper. Males are usually green on their dorsal surfaces, from their face and top of the head, across the thorax, and onto the dorsal field of the tegmina; the sides are brown and the abdomen is yellowish (Otte, 1981). Females may be colored similarly, but often have a reversed pattern, with brown dorsal surfaces and green lateral. Some individuals can be all brown. No postocular stripe or other prominent stripes are present, although the lateral carinae of the pronotum may have a trace of a pale or dark edging, particularly in females (Blatchley, 1920). Females usually also possess small dark spots on their body and tegmina.
Total Length [body plus wings; excludes ovipositor]: 25-38 mm (to the end of the tegmina), males; 36-53 mm, females (Otte, 1981)
Structural Features: The antennae are ensiform; the posterior ends of the tegmina are truncate; and the hind knees have short, pointed processes, a combination that is unique among our grasshoppers
Singing Behavior: Males lack stridulatory pegs on the hind femora and have not been reported to stridulate or crepitate.
Nymphal Stages and Development: Apparently undescribed
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Adult Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Morse (1904) described the habitat as consisting of the "rank herbage of swamps, meadows, and the vicinity of streams". The majority of our records come from these habitats, primarily grassy areas along the shorelines of ponds and streams and particularly the marshy vegetation that forms in partially filled beaver ponds. A few come from upland site but only where upland depressions occur that support wetland graminoids and other species typical of floodplains. We also have at least one record from a coastal marsh, but it is unclear whether it was a freshwater or saline marsh.
Diet: Apparently undescribed but probably consists primarily of graminoids
Observation Methods: Probably best found by flushing it by walking through its habitat. When disturbed, however, they may fly for some distance before landing.
Abundance/Frequency: This species occurs regularly in wet, grassy habitats, often in moderate numbers
Adult Phenology: Adults begin to appear in June and have been seen as late as November
See also Habitat Account for General Sedge, Grass, and Rush Mires
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: This species may once been associated primarily with beaver pond habitats but was able to persist in other wet, grassy, shorelines when the beaver were nearly exterminated over most of the continent. Today, they are found in most grassy wetlands, including those associated with reservoirs. It appears to be quite secure within the state.

Image Gallery for Metaleptea brevicornis - Clipped-Wing Grasshopper

Recorded by: John Petranka
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: H. Quay
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: F. Williams, S. Williams
Bertie Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Burke Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: F. Williams, S. Williams
Gates Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields
Duplin Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger
Rockingham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: K. Bischof
Chatham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: E. Corey
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: FKW
Gates Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: FKW
Gates Co.
Comment: