What’s In My Backyard?

Meet the neighbors: snakeweed grasshopper

For the introduction to this series, see here

This brightly colored western grasshopper is considered a beneficial insect by ranchers. This might seem surprising as most grasshoppers are considered pests. This grasshopper eats weeds (especially snakeweed) that are poisonous to sheep and cows. In the spring, the grasshoppers eat so many snakeweed seedlings that the chance of cattle eating enough snakeweed to harm themselves becomes much less likely.

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