Orthoptera of North Carolina
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View Acrididae Members: NC Records

Campylacantha olivacea (Scudder, 1875) - Fuzzy Olive-green Grasshopper

Family: Acrididae Subfamily: Melanoplinae Tribe: Dactylotini
Comments: Two species are currently recognized in this genus, both of which occur in North America north of Mexico (Cigliano et al., accessed 2021-10-05). Only olivacea occurs in the eastern United States, where it is primarily a relict species.
Species Status: Three subspecies are known, with only the nominate form occurring in the East (Cigliano et al., accessed 2021).
Field Guide Descriptions: Capinera et al.Online Photographs: BugGuide, Google ImagesTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Blatchely (1920)                                                                                  
Comments: This species is typically bright olive-green but can be occasionally pale brown or dark fuscous (Blatchely, 1920). A dark green line exists on the vertex of the head and the antennae have white annuli at bases of the antennomeres, which can be very conspicuous in immature individuals. The eyes are dark but can be covered with conspicuous white spots. The pronotum is flecked with short, yellowish dashes and the legs are greenish yellow with the femora of the first two pairs of legs dull orange. The abdomen is green but is covered with yellowish vermiculations.
Total Length [body plus wings; excludes ovipositor]: 21-23 mm, males; 28-31 mm, females (Blatchely, 1920)Forewing Length: 8.5-10 mm, males; 28-31 mm, females (Blatchely, 1920)
Structural Features: The wings are about half the length of the abdomen and the body is thickly pubescent (Blatchely, 1920). The dorsal margin of the subgenital plate in the male is straight rather than widened or dilated. The supra-anal plate is triangular with an acute apex. The cerci of the males are sub-erect and shorter than the supra-anal plate; their apices are somewhat falcate and compressed.
Structural photos
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: In the East, this species appears to be associated with prairies, sandhills, grassy dunes, and probably other herb-dominated habitats associated with dry, sandy or clay-rich soils.
Diet: In the Black Belt Prairies of Mississippi, this species has only been collected in patches of western ragweed, Ambrosia psilostachya (Hill, 2007). Blatchley (1920) cites Bruner for records from Nebraska for associations with Sunflower, Pigweed, Lamb's Quarter, and beets.
Observation Methods:
Adult Phenology:
See also Habitat Account for General Dry-Xeric Glades and Barrens
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [SR]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S1S2
State Protection:
Comments: This is a Southwestern species that has been recorded at only a few sites in the Southeast. Only one population has been documented in North Carolina, with the next known occurrence in western South Carolina and the Black Belt Prairies in Alabama and Mississipi (USDA, 1956). It appears to be highly xerophilic and may occur primarily in association with dry, clay-rich soils. Although more surveys are needed to clarify its distribution in North Carolina, it currently appears to be among our rarest species of insects and certainly merits a high degree of conservation concern.

Image Gallery for Campylacantha olivacea - Fuzzy Olive-green Grasshopper

Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan
Moore Co.
Comment: Found in a wildlife food plot next to an area of dry-xeric oak scrub