Information On Grasshoppers


Grasshopper Information


As the name suggests, most grasshoppers live among the grass and herbage on the ground. They are colored-mostly green and brown-and are protected as long as they keep still by blending in with the greenery.

Grasshoppers are active during the day and if disturbed jump suddenly with the help of their oversized hindlegs. They can also crawl slowly using their front legs.

Today the the word grasshopper is applied to the short horned Acrididae, while the long horned Tettigoniidae are called "bush-crickets", because they are more closely related to the other main family of the order Orthoptera ( the Gryllidae or true crickets) than the Acrididae. The bush-crickets mostly live in trees and shrubs.

grasshopper 2

That familiar chirping in the fields of the countryside is the result of grasshopper stridulation. A row of evenly spaced, minute pegs on the largest joint of the hindlegs is rubbed over the more prominent veins or ribs of the forewing. Usually, but not always, only the males can sing. Each species has its own song.

Aside from stridulation, both pairs of wings serve their usual function.

Grasshoppers are entirely herbivorous. Bush-crickets are at least partly predatory and one species, the oak bush-cricket Maconema thalassinum, is entirely carnivorous and eats caterpillars and other insects they find in oak trees. The others feed partly on grass and leaves and insects.

grasshopper 3

Both grasshoppers and bush-crickets lay eggs. In the former they are encased in a tough case called the egg-pod, which is buried in the ground by the female. Each pod has from five to up to fourteen eggs. Bush-crickets lay their eggs without any covering and usually singly, some putting them in the ground or crevices of bark, while others insert them into stems or leaves by cutting slits with the ovipositor. In both, the young hatch in the form of tiny worm-like larva which molt after hatching. They look like their parents except they have no wings. With each molt their body and wing size increases.



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