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For information on Wisconsin's rare vertebrate animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist
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Jay Watson
Conservation Biologist

Huckleberry Spur-throat Grasshopper (Melanoplus fasciatus)

Need a main photo for this animal



Huckleberry Spur-throat Grasshopper (Melanoplus fasciatus) is a state Special Concern species with the population center occurring in Jackson County. It is a sedentary species, often found on shrubs associated with barrens communities or in sunlit woodland edges and openings. It is associated with huckleberry and blueberry (Vaccinium sp.) plants, bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), and heaths (Ericaceae). It feeds on a variety of forbs and is believed to be active from mid-June through mid-late August.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Huckleberry Spur-throat Grasshopper (Melanoplus fasciatus). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.

Documented locations of Melanoplus fasciatus in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusSC/N
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2S3
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIY

Species guidance

Identification: A small to medium-sized dark grasshopper with wings extending to 2/3 of, or near the apex of, the abdomen. Femur is red/orange below and inside and tibias are dull red. Outer femur surface conspicuously banded. Send male specimen to an expert for accurate ID.

Habitat: Sandy woods and pine/oak barrens with jackpine, black oak complex, blueberry, sweet fern, lupine, bearberry.

State Distribution: Northern counties and the Central Sands.

Global Distribution: Alaska to Newfoundland, south to New Jersey, northern Indiana, Colorado.

Phenology: Adults mid June into September.

Other resources

Links to additional Huckleberry Spur-throat Grasshopper information

Other links related to grasshoppers and allies


No additional photos are available for Huckleberry Spur-throat Grasshopper at this time. Please consider donating a photo to the Natural Heritage Conservation program.

Wildlife Action Plan

Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan graphic

Natural community (habitat) associations

The table below lists the natural communities that are associated with Huckleberry Spur-throat Grasshopper. Only natural communities for which Huckleberry Spur-throat Grasshopper is "high" (score=3) or "moderate" (score=2) associated are shown. See the key to association scores for complete definitions. Please see the Wildlife Action Plan to learn how this information was developed.

Ecological landscape associations

The table below lists the ecological landscape association scores for Huckleberry Spur-throat Grasshopper. The scores correspond to the map (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None). For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

This map shows the probability of Huckleberry Spur-throat Grasshopper occurring in each of Wisconsin's Ecological Landscapes.  Actual scores can be found in the table to the left.

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Landscape-Community combinations of highest ecological priority*

Ecological priorities are the combinations of natural communities and ecological landscapes that provide Wisconsin's best opportunities to conserve important habitats for a given Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The 10 highest scoring combinations are considered ecological priorities and are listed below. More than 10 combinations are listed if multiple combinations tied for 10th place. For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

* Ecological priority score is a relative measure that is not meant for comparison between species. This score does not consider socio-economical factors that may dictate protection and/or management priorities differently than those determined solely by ecological analysis. Further, a low ecological priority score does not imply that management or preservation should not occur on a site if there are important reasons for doing so locally.

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Issues/threats and conservation actions

Conservation actions respond to issues or threats, which adversely affect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) or their habitats. Besides actions such as restoring wetlands or planting resilient tree species in northern communities, research, surveys and monitoring are also among conservation actions described in the WWAP because lack of information can threaten our ability to successfully preserve and care for natural resources.

Threats/issues and conservations actions for rare animals

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Last revised: Thursday, December 22, 2022