Orthoptera of North Carolina
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View Acrididae Members: NC Records

Melanoplus serrulatus Hebard, 1937 - Serrulate Melanoplus

Family: Acrididae Subfamily: Melanoplinae Tribe: Melanoplini
Comments: Melanoplus is our largest genus of Orthopterans, with over 350 species occurring in North America (Cigliano et al., 2017). 38 species have been recorded in North Carolina. Melanoplus serrulatus is a member of the Mancus Species Group (Hebard, 1937), which in North Carolina also includes divergens (Hebard also includes celatus in this group, which Cigliano et al. do not).
Species Status: The type locality is the "Nantahala Mountains", North Carolina (Hebard, 1937)
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: BugGuide, Google Images,  iNaturalist, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Hebard (1937)                                                                                  
Comments: Members of the Mancus group are all small, short-winged (flightless) grasshoppers, with a dull brown dorsal surface, a dark post ocular stripe extending across the thorax, and lower sides that are clay-yellow; the hind tibiae are reddish (Blatchley, 1920). Females are essentially indistiguishable but the males can be separated based to some extent on the external reproductive structures and particularly the internal structures (Hebard, 1937).
Structural Features: The furcula has two short but broad fingers. The cerci are short and thick, with the tip moderately expanded and compressed; in lateral view, the tip appears to be concave and somewhat spatulate. Males of M. mancus are similar externally, but the to species differ markedly in the internal reproductive structures, with those of serrulatus being highly specialized and distinctive (Hebard, 1937).
Structural photos
Nymphal Stages and Development: Not recorded
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: Hebard (1937) states that the type specimens were collected at an elevation of 2,500 ft. He also speculates that this species may prove to be "confined to the valleys and lower slopes of the mountains". No other information is given regarding habitat at the type locality.
Diet: No information is available
Observation Methods: Probably discovered through direct search of its habitat
Abundance/Frequency: Unrecorded
Adult Phenology: All known specimens were collected in October
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G1G3->[GH] SH
State Protection: Listed as Significantly Rare in North Carolina by the Natural Heritage Program. It has no legal protection, however, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species has not been observed since the type specimens were collected in 1933; it should therefore be ranked as Historic both globally and within the state. Determining whether populations still exist should be given a high priority, along with discovering anything about its distribution, abundance, habitat associations, and dietary range.

Image Gallery for Melanoplus serrulatus - Serrulate Melanoplus

Recorded by: C.F. Walker
Macon Co.
Comment: Paratype, photographed by JoVonn Hill in 2014