The differential grasshopper, Melanoplus differentialis is common in Indiana this year. Some years populations can become large and reach pest status. They are not restricted to the countryside and commonly seen in vacant urban lots with tall vegetation.
As in many species of grasshoppers, the male is much smaller than the female. Both male and female have distinctive chevrons on their hind femurs. The chevrons are part of the cryptic coloration. The grasshoppers are easy to spot when they fly but quickly disappear when they land in the weeds. One of the favorite foods of this grasshopper is the sunflower.