Looking for grasshopper facts? You are at the right place. This grasshopper facts sheet will help you get some vital information about these little insects that lead to billions of dollars of losses every year across the globe.
So, without wasting time any further, let us take a quick look into 35 fascinating grasshopper facts that you might need for your school project!
Grasshopper Facts: 1-12
1. Grasshoppers and locusts belong to the same order, Orthoptera. Some species of this order are referred to as grasshoppers and other species are termed as locusts.
2. Just like cockroaches, grasshoppers predate dinosaurs. The earliest fossils of grasshoppers date back to 300 million years ago during the Carboniferous period.
3. They grow around 2 inches or 5 centimeters. They can, however, grow as big as 5 inches or 12.7 centimeters.
4. They have five pairs of eyes – two pairs of compound eyes (an eye which contains multiple eye-like structures called ommatidia and all of them have features like individual eyes) and 3 pairs of simple eyes.
5. If this is not surprising for you, then they have ears on their abdomen. They can’t understand the pitch and can’t even differentiate among different pitches.
6. They are diurnal animals. It is because they need sunlight to keep their bodies warm and active during the daytime. Having said that, some grasshoppers feed at night as well.
7. They have three pairs of legs and two pairs of wings. They have a pair of antennae that are sensitive to light and touch.
8. Female grasshoppers are larger than males just like other arthropods. Just like any arthropod, the body of the grasshoppers consists of head, thorax, and abdomen.
9. They rub their hind legs to produce the sound they make. It is called stridulation. These sounds are mostly made by males to attract females. Few females produce these sounds.
10. For the ears, they have tympanal organs. They act as special receptors that can catch changes in pressure and any distortion in cuticles.
11. There are other sense organs called chordotonal sense organs. They can detect the position and can detect the movement about the joints of the exoskeleton.
12. They eat almost every vegetation. Some of them are even omnivores. They not only eat small animals but also feces of animals.
Grasshopper Facts: 13-24
13. They prefer to consume grasses like cereals which are grown as crops. Some of the grasshopper species are known to consume some toxic plants.
14. One of the interesting facts is that the grasshoppers that feed on toxic plants have those toxins in their body. These toxins help in protection from predators. Their bodies are brightly colored. The bright colors warn predators to stay away from them.
15. They are colored in such a way that they can camouflage with their habitat so that they can stay hidden from the predators. Some of the species who are good at camouflaging are hooded leaf grasshopper (Phyllochoreia ramakrishnai), stick grasshoppers (Proscopiidae), etc.
16. Respiration occurs through the trachea; circulation is through an open circulatory system. In the open circulatory system, organs are directly bathed in blood. The organs receive oxygen and nutrients directly.
17. They are good at jumping. They can jump for several reasons like jumping to escape from predators, to get into a fight, to move from one place to another place, etc.
18. They can jump 200 times the length of their bodies. Some structures in their knees act like catapults to achieve this huge jump.
19. There are around 11,000 species of grasshoppers around the world. There are two types of grasshoppers – short-horned grasshoppers and long-horned grasshoppers.
20. The grasshoppers lay eggs during the fall. They have three stages of development – egg, nymph, and adult. The eggs hatch during the spring season, the grasshoppers are called nymph at this stage.
21. The nymph doesn’t have wings but except for the wings, a nymph resembles a small-sized grasshopper. It grows in size and sheds its skin some 5 to 6 times.
22. The nymph develops wings and finally, it transforms into an adult grasshopper.
23. The grasshoppers can fly. Just like jumping, they usually fly to escape from predators.
24. We told you that grasshoppers stridulate or crepitate but they are not good at what they do. The sound of these grasshoppers is not melodious at all.
Grasshopper Facts: 25-35
25. These organisms may look very innocent but they are notorious for destroying crops. They eat more than half of their body weight.
26. It may not sound a lot for a single grasshopper. But imagine a swarm of locusts or grasshoppers attacking a farm. A swarm may contain millions or billions of grasshoppers.
27. In the US alone, they cause damage of around $1.5 billion each year! Now, you can understand the damage they cause.
28. They migrate during the winter. They go to a different location to find food.
29. One of the fantastic grasshopper facts is that they can stay in flight for three days straight.
30. To ward off predators, they spit some brown juice as a defense mechanism. Earlier, the grasshoppers would stay near the tobacco crops. So naturally, people imagined that the brown juice is tobacco juice. However, it is not the case.
31. Many people across different regions and cultures consume grasshoppers. A Mexican dish, chapulines contains grasshoppers that are sautéed. There is something called chapulines fondue and yes, you guessed it right, it is a grasshopper fondue.
32. People of the Americas, Asia, and Africa regularly consume grasshoppers.
33. Grasshoppers are lucky as far as Japan is considered. They associate growth, health, nature, rejuvenation, adventure, fresh beginnings, etc. with green grasshoppers.
34. Some species of the grasshoppers are listed as endangered in the IUCN list. It is mostly because of their habitat loss.
35. There are many movies that portray grasshoppers like A Bug’s Life, It’s Tough To Be A Bug!, etc.