Complete Taxonomic Classification  
            Melanoplus differentialis


·         Domain: Eukarya- Cells of M. differentialis house genetic material in a true nucleus. Cells also contain membrane bound organelles.


·         Kingdom: Animalia- M. differentialis is a heterotrophic, multicellular eukaryote.


·         Phylum: Arthropoda- M. differentialis is a segmented ecdysozoan. Its body is comprised of a tough exoskeleton with jointed appendages.


·         Class: Insecta- M. differentialis exhibits the three-part body structure (head, thorax, abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, two antennae, and a chitinous exoskeleton.


·         Order: Orthoptera- Like all members of Orthoptera M. differentialis undergoes an incomplete metamorphosis and has a tympanum (ear) sensitive to vibrations for a means of communication.


·         Family: Acrididae- M. differentialis exhibits its tympanum on the side of its first abdominal segment. Additionally, it has short antennae, which is a defining characteristic of all the locusts (swarming grasshoppers) that occupy this family.


·         Genus: Melanoplus- Melanoplus are a grass-eating and often migratory genus of grasshoppers.


·         Species: Melanoplus differentialis- M. differentialis is usually between 30 and 50mm long with females usually larger than males. Their bodies are usually green-brown and grow darker with age.



Phylogenetic Trees
A Closer Look At Evolutionary Relationships!

This phylogenetic tree of the animal kingdom shows that insects’ closest arthropod relatives are the Crustaceans, like lobster and crab.


This phylogenetic tree was developed as a phylogenetic analysis of the genus Melanoplus and was derived from molecular data. The analysis was based on mitochondrial genes, taxa, and specimens. Specifically, portions of four mitochondrial genes were analyzed including: cytochrome b, cytochrome oxidase (subunits I and II), and NADH dehydrogenase subunit II.