Facts about Grasshoppers
Learn important facts about grasshoppers. Grasshoppers play an important part in the food chain. Learn facts about grasshoppers such as their life cycle, what grasshoppers eat, what eats grasshoppers and the physical features of a grasshopper.
- There are about 11,000 different species of grasshoppers.
- A grasshopper’s body has 3 parts including the head, thorax and abdomen. The grasshopper’s thorax is where its 6 legs are attached. The abdomen is not located in the middle of the grasshopper, like a person’s. Instead the abdomen is located on the bottom (back) of the grasshopper.
- Grasshoppers are like crickets, but have shorter antennae on their head.
- Grasshoppers hear sound with two tiny “ears” located on their belly.
- Grasshoppers have 2 large eyes and 3 smaller simple eyes that all help them see their surroundings.
- Grasshoppers have large hind legs and most adult grasshoppers have 2 sets of wings. One set on the front and one on the back.
- Grasshoppers can jump a long distance. Their wings help them to jump much longer of a distance, but most grasshoppers cannot fly very far.
Grasshoppers in the Food Chain
- Grasshoppers eat mostly leaves and grasses. They are therefore herbivores.
- Grasshoppers look for food most of the day. They are out both at night and during the day.
- Many animals and other insects eat grasshoppers. Animals like reptiles, birds, mice and other small mammals eat grasshoppers. Large insects, like spiders and praying mantis also eat grasshoppers.
- One type of grasshopper is the locust. Locusts are well-known from the bible from causing a plague. Scientifically, this type of grasshopper changes when there is a large group in one place. They become very competitive. Their body releases a chemical which allows the locust to become much strong and fly much further. Swarms of locusts are known to fly for thousands of miles, even across oceans, eating leaves and farmer’s crops on the way. Locusts can eat their own weight in vegetation every day.
Facts about Grasshopper Life Cycle
- The grasshopper has a 3-stage life cycle known as an incomplete metamorphosis.
- The first stage is an egg. The grasshopper starts as egg that is usually placed in a hole in the ground for protection.
- Stage 2 of the grasshopper life cycle is the nymph stage. In this stage the grasshopper looks a lot like a fully grown grasshopper, but it is missing wings. During this time the nymph eats and sheds its outer covering several times.
- After 40 to 60 days the nymph develops into a fully grown grasshopper. This is stage 3 of the grasshopper life cycle. In this stage most grasshoppers have wings. The wings allow them to reach places that are much higher. They can also jump to travel or escape danger. The wings greatly extend their jumping distance.