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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
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 (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
- Related Information (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
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.
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.