With a common name like “devastating grasshopper”, this insect’s interactions with other organisms are destined to be primarily negative. The Melanoplus devastator wreaks most havoc in its native habitat of the Sierra Nevada and coastal range of California (Bentley and Philips 1992). California has earned the title of wine country because it is home to many vineyards. Melanoplus devastator nymphs hatch from their eggs in the late spring and feed on young, green plants (Flint 1998). Californian vineyards are common targets of the young grasshoppers, and they use their mouthparts to remove sections of leaves from the vineyard plants, causing damage to the property and profits of vineyard owners (Flint 1998; Martin et al. 2012).
The grasshoppers are known to cause problems, not only in vineyards, but also household gardens and other large crops (Flints 1998). They seek young, green plants to eat and consume the leaves, flowers, and young stems of the plants (Flint 1998). The Miniature Lupine is a flowering plant of California that this grasshopper consumes. Devastating grasshoppers prefer to consume barley grasses, wild lettuce, and tarweeds; however, they are also known to feed upon avocado plants, alfalfa, tomato plants, and marigolds (Martin et al. 2012). California hosts a wide variety of grass species such as California Oatgrass, Soft Cheat, and Cheatgrass.To fight destruction caused by Melanoplus devastator, humans will often attempt to use screens, predators, insecticides to fight off the invading grasshoppers (Flint 1998; Bentley and Philips 1992).
Melanoplus devastator is not without predators. The insect is infamous for causing widespread damage, but it is not invincible to the threat of predation. Birds such as chickens and guinea hens are used to act as predators to protect crops from damage (Flint 1998). However, some natural aviary predators include hawks, crows, and mockingbirds; these birds feed up the grasshoppers in the adult and nymph stages (Shanklin et al. 2010). The Western Screech Owl and Steller's Jay also consume the devastating grasshopper. The Western Screech Owl also is known to prey on the Dusty-footed Wood-rat. Birds are not the only predators of Melanoplus devastator, the Northern California Alligator Lizard is an amphibian predator of the grasshoppers. Chordates that hunt the grasshoppers include the Spotted Skunk and the Long-Tailed Weasel. Though they are at risk in their adult stages, the eggs of the devastating grasshoppers are targets also targets especially for some local vertebrates, beetles, and bee flies (Shanklin et al. 2010). The natural predators of Melanoplus devastator help keep the population at a manageable size.
In addition to natural predators, parasites also attack the grasshoppers and limit their population size. Some fungi have been known to attack and live on the grasshopper; this eventually causes the body to become soft (Shanklin et al. 2010). Melanoplus devastator occasionally consumes nematodes eggs that hatch inside the insect, bury themselves into its stomach, and kill the grasshopper (Shanklin et al. 2012).  Certain species of flies deposit their eggs onto the body of a young nymph or adult, the eggs then hatch and the larva consume the body of the grasshopper Shanklin et al. 2012). Clearly, with the threats to the Melanoplus devastator, it is not an invincible machine of destruction.

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