Plants and Animals

Orphulella pelidna Green desert grasshopper

Key Characteristics

The green desert grasshopper is a small mint-green to brownish gray grasshopper with front wings that extend to or beyond the ends of the hind femora. The lateral ridges (carinae) on the pronotum (dorsal plate behind the head) are angled (rather than running parallel) and are bisected by two or three narrow grooves (sulci).

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S2S3 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from imperiled to vulnerable


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed

Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


It inhabits stands of grass growing in mesic to damp sand and muck, particularly those associated with coastal plain marshes, and to a lesser extent, wet lakeplain prairies. In other regions, it can also be found drier fields of mixed grasses and open, dry woods.

Natural Community Types

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Management Recommendations

Maintain and restore open grassy coastal plain marshes and lakeplain prairies. Avoid dredging, filling, or other hydrologic alterations. Leave suitable inland buffers along lakeplain prairies as suitable habitat zones will shift as Great Lakes water levels periodically fluctuate. Fire management may be an appropriate habitat management tool but care should be taken to not burn all of suitable habitat at once.

Active Period

Active from second week of July to first week of September

Survey Methods

Conduct sweep net surveys in appropriate habitat.

Sweep net

Survey Period: From second week of July to first week of September


Survey References

  • Borror, D.J. and R.E. White. 1970. A Field Guide to the Insects of North America and Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 404pp.
  • Martin, J.E.H. 1977. The Insects and Arachnids of Canada (Part 1): Collecting, preparing, and preserving insects, mites, and spiders. Publication 1643. Biosystematics Research Institute, Ottawa.

Technical References

  • Bland, R.G. 2003. The Orthoptera of Michigan: Biology, Keys, and Descriptions of Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets. Michigan State University Extension, East Lansing. Extension Bulletin E-2815. 220pp.