Great Basin Naturalist


A native California perennial grassland was sampled for grasshopper populations. The grassland is managed for the preservation of the native perennial bunchgrass, Nassella pulchra Hitch. Grasshopper density, biomass, diversity, and richness were measured from July 1993 to October 1994. Average density of all grasshoppers was 2.30 hoppers/m2 (0.66 s) for 1994 (June through August). Overall forage consumed for 1994 was 140 kg/ha, suggesting that grasshopper populations exist at economically damaging levels. Grasshoppers do not appear in the grasslands until late spring, after annual grasses have set seed. Biomass of grasshoppers peaks in July when adults are predominant. Both grasshopper density and biomass were higher in 1993 than in 1994, and a total of 5 species were found throughout the study. Melanoplus sanguinipes Fabricus dominated the acridid communities and accounted for more than 95% of the individuals.