Species Profile

Greenish-white Grasshopper

Scientific Name: Hypochlora alba
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
COSEWIC Range: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2012
COSEWIC Status: Special Concern
COSEWIC Status Criteria:
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This distinctive grasshopper is restricted to dry mixed grass prairie in southernmost Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba.  Most of the Canadian population is found in only a few sites with many sites having very small populations. There is evidence that there has been a decline in the western part of the range. A number of threats have been documented including conversion to tame pasture, pesticide use and overgrazing.  Re-establishment of lost populations and rescue effect are limited by the fact that this species is mostly flightless, although some Canadian habitat is continuous across the border.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Special Concern in November 2012.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Special Concern
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2018-02-02

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Quick Links: | Description | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | National Recovery Program | Documents

Description

Hypochlora alba is usually referred to as the Greenish- white Grasshopper in Canada. In the United States its common name is the Sagebrush Grasshopper, Cudweed Sagewort Grasshopper, or Cudweed Grasshopper, because it is found in close proximity to its principal foodplant, White Sagebrush. It is a small, flightless grasshopper, with late instars and adult males typically 1.1 to 1.5 cm in length and adult females up to 2.0 cm. The Greenish-white Grasshopperis in the spur-throated (also called spine-breasted) subfamily of the short-horned grasshoppers. The body is a light, milky green colour with small green spots (speckles), and pale white longitudinal stripes. [Updated by COSEWIC - Nov. 2012]

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Distribution and Population

The Greenish-white Grasshopper inhabits relatively undisturbed dry mixed grass prairie of the Great Plains of North America. Its distribution extends in a narrow grassland area from the southern Canadian Prairies to northern Texas, apparently restricted to the areas within the distribution of its food plant, White Sagebrush, but only at lower elevations where it can complete its life cycle and survive to reproduce. The distribution of the Greenish-white Grasshopper in Canada historically includes southeastern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan north to the Great Sand Hills, and extreme southwestern Manitoba. After 1980, a decline was noticed in number of sites in the west. [Updated by COSEWIC - Nov. 2012]

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Habitat

The habitat of the Greenish-white Grasshopper consists mainly of pastures and grassland in the mixed grass or dry mixed grass ecoregions where the principal food plant, White Sagebrush (and in some cases secondary food plants) occur; usually such sites are found in locations throughout the northern Great Plains and southern Canadian Prairies. Habitats may include livestock pastures and uncultivated sites along roadsides, fencelines, streams, disturbed land, or shelterbelts. White Sagebrush is a terpenoid-containing forb (Family Asteraceae), and is very rarely used as food by other insects. Plants typically reach about 20 to 50 cm high, with blue flowers and silver foliage and stems. The plant is used as food for all stages of the Greenish-white Grasshopper, and is therefore a critical requirement for breeding. An analysis of threats suggests a continuing decline in habitat. [Updated by COSEWIC - Nov. 2012]

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Biology

Greenish-white Grasshoppers overwinter as eggs in small egg pods laid near the surface of soil, near the food plant. The embryo overwinters with an incomplete degree of development, and continues growth when soil warms. It hatches later than most other grasshoppers, typically appearing in mid-July in Canada. Growth proceeds through 5 immature stages, and adults generally appear in August. By mid-August, populations are generally around 80% adult. As with other grasshopper species, behavioural adaptations have apparently allowed some expansion of geographic distribution. For example, in late instar and adult stages, Greenish-white Grasshoppers may sun themselves by sitting on the food plant perpendicular to incoming sunlight, often raising hind legs away from the body, thus raising the body temperature. [Updated by COSEWIC - Nov. 2012]

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Threats

An analysis of six poorly documented minor threats (including: 1) Conversion to tame pasture with Crested Wheatgrass; 2) Warmer and moister conditions; 3) Pesticide use and drift; 4) Dams, reservoirs, irrigation; 5) Oil and gas exploration; and 6) Heavy grazing leading to takeover by invasive plants) suggests a continuing medium-level threat impact on the habitat. [Updated by COSEWIC - Nov. 2012]

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Protection

Federal Protection

More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

7 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Greenish-white Grasshopper Hypochlora alba in Canada (2013-11-06)

    Hypochlora alba is usually referred to as the Greenish-white Grasshopper in Canada. In the United States its common name is the Sagebrush Grasshopper, Cudweed Sagewort Grasshopper, or Cudweed Grasshopper, because it is found in close proximity to its principal foodplant, White Sagebrush. It is a small, flightless grasshopper, with late instars and adult males typically 1.1 to 1.5 centimeters in length and adult females up to 2.0 centimeters. The Greenish-white Grasshopperis in the spur-throated (also called spine-breasted) subfamily of the short-horned grasshoppers. The body is a light, milky green colour with small green spots (speckles), and pale white longitudinal stripes.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Greenish-white Grasshopper (2013-12-18)

    This distinctive grasshopper is restricted to dry mixed grass prairie in southernmost Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba. Most of the Canadian population is found in only a few sites with many sites having very small populations. There is evidence that there has been a decline in the western part of the range. A number of threats have been documented including conversion to tame pasture, pesticide use and overgrazing. Re-establishment of lost populations and rescue effect are limited by the fact that this species is mostly flightless, although some Canadian habitat is continuous across the border.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (volume 151, number 12, 2017) (2017-06-14)

    His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of the assessments done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (volume 152, number 4, 2018) (2018-02-21)

    Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct. Today’s extinction rate is estimated to be between 1 000 and 10 000 times higher than the natural rate. Biodiversity is positively related to ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency (i.e. the ability of an ecosystem to respond to changes or disturbances). Given the interdependency of species, a loss of biodiversity can lead to decreases in ecosystem function and services (e.g. natural processes such as pest control, pollination, coastal wave attenuation, temperature regulation and carbon fixing). These services are important to the health of Canadians, and also have important ties to Canada’s economy. Small changes within an ecosystem resulting in the loss of individuals and species can therefore result in adverse, irreversible and broad-ranging effects.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report – 2012-2013 (2013-09-24)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (October, 2012 to September 2013) from November 25 to November 30, 2012 and from April 28 to May 3, 2013. During the current reporting period, COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 73 wildlife species. The wildlife species assessment results for the 2012-2013 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 0 Extirpated: 2 Endangered: 28 Threatened: 19 Special Concern: 19 Data Deficient: 4 Not at Risk: 1 Total: 73 Of the 73 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 50 species that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 26 of those species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – December 2013 (2013-12-18)

    The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Endangered or Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection of prohibitions and recovery planning under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 518 wildlife species at risk. Please submit your comments by March 23, 2014, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultations and by October 23, 2014, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations. Consultation paths.

Related Information

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA) Listing Plan 2016 to 2018 (2017-09-29)

    The status of wildlife species is assessed by an independent panel of expert Canadian scientists, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). 149 terrestrial species were assessed as at-risk by COSEWIC between 2009 and 2016 and are eligible for listing under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) to be considered by the Governor-in-Council (GIC) on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment: 86 species would be new additions, 54 currently listed species would be reclassified and 9 species would be updated to reflect changes in their recognized designatable units. A three-year listing plan has been developed to address all 149 terrestrial species and listing decisions for most species are anticipated by the end of 2018. Making amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA is a two-step process. The first step is for the GIC to propose an amendment through an order in council published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 30-day public comment period. The second step is for the GIC to make a final decision on whether or not to make amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA, taking into consideration comments received during the 30-day public comment period. The amendments are made through an order in council published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. Both orders are accompanied by a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) which presents the implications of listing the species or changing their status. Publishing this plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency about the Government of Canada’s plan to make listing decisions under the Species at Risk Act. NOTE: The information presented below is intended to provide openness and transparency with respect to when terrestrial species might be considered for listing under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. It is intended to assist anyone who may wish to provide comments on such listing considerations. Given any number of factors can affect the timing of a listing decision; the Plan is subject to change. Accordingly, the Plan will be periodically updated.
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