A New Species of Melanoplus (Orthoptera: Acrididae) from an Isolated Upland in Peninsular Florida

Jason M. Squitier, Mark Deyrup, John L. Capinera

Abstract


A new species of flightless acridid grasshopper, Melanoplus withlacoocheensis n. sp., is described from an isolated upland, the Southern Brooksville Ridge, in west central peninsular Florida. It occurs in open sandhill habitat. It appears to be closely related to Melanoplus rotundipennis Scudder, which is widespread in sandhill and Florida scrub habitats in central and northern peninsular Florida; the species are distinguished by details of the male cerci and genitalia. The new species is one of several species of flightless Melanoplus in Florida whose geographic ranges are small and biogeographically revealing. The new species is the first clear biological indicator of the long-term isolation of the Southern Brooksville Ridge from other uplands, including the Northern Brooksville Ridge.

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