Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers are insects.

There are 2 kinds of grasshoppers;
short-horned grasshoppers which have short antennae,
and
long-horned grasshoppers which have long antenna.

Grasshoppers live in most parts of the world, except where it is very cold.

A grasshopper's body

Their bodies have three main parts: the head, the thorax and the abdomen. A hard shell called an
exoskeleton covers the body. Exoskeleton means 'outside skeleton' because insects do not have a skeleton inside their bodies like mammals do.

Two antennae (feelers) grow from a grasshopper's head.

Grasshoppers have five eyes and can see to the front, to the side, and to the back. Eyes like this are called compound eyes.

Grasshoppers have six legs with strong leg muscles.

Most grasshoppers have two pairs of wings. The male grasshopper rubs a leg up against the back of a wing to make a noise which attracts the female grasshopper.

Grasshoppers breathe through holes, called spiracles, along the sides of the abdomen and the thorax.

Go here for a diagram of a grasshopper's body
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/insects/orthoptera/labelgrasshopper/

 DID YOU KNOW? A large grasshoppers can jump a distance of about 20 times the length of its body.

Food
Most kinds of grasshopper eat plants, but some long-horned grasshoppers also eat dead animals or catch and eat other insects.

Grasshoppers can be a pest to farmers when they eat farm crops.

Enemies
Beetles, birds, lizards, mice, snakes, and spiders prey on grasshoppers.

Grasshoppers protect themselves from enemies by jumping or flying away. They also bite their enemies with their strong jaws. They use camouflage too. Their colour helps them hide on leaves if the grasshopper is green, or on rocks or on the ground if the grasshopper is brown.

 

Grasshoppers use camouflage to hide: here a brown grasshopper hides on some rocks



 Female grasshoppers
Female grasshoppers have a strong, sharp
ovipositor, which means 'egg placer', at the end of the abdomen. Eggs come out of the female's body through the ovipositor.

After mating with a male grasshopper, a female lays about120 eggs. The eggs are held together by sticky stuff from inside the female's body. A group of eggs is called a pod.

Young grasshoppers
When they hatch, young grasshoppers look like adults but they don't have wings. After about 40 to 60 days a young grasshopper is an adult. As they grow, the grasshoppers shed their exoskeleton. This shedding is called moulting. Each time they moult, there is a new, bigger exoskeleton underneath. This is because insects don't have skin that stretches as they grow. The young grasshoppers moult up to six times. After the last moult, they have wings.

Newly hatched grasshoppers on a leaf

Go here for more information about grasshoppers and related insects http://www.amonline.net.au/factsheets/grasshoppers.htm

If you use any of this information in your own work acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:
Grasshoppers (2007). [Online], Available: www.kidcyber.com.au

Back to Animals

updated Febraury 2007