Grasshopper is one of the oldest living groups of insects, Evidence says that it has existed from 250 million years ago. Usually, insects like grasshoppers produce sound by rubbing to attract females, But in some species, even females produce sound by rubbing. They have strong hind legs which help them to escape from predators. Generally, grasshoppers are plane eaters but when they travel in millions like locusts they destroy the crops in a wide area. Locust attacks can also be seen in India especially In the states like Rajasthan. Before discussing the grasshopper scientific name let us have some basic details about a grasshopper.
The female grasshopper is usually larger than the male grasshopper. And most of the grasshoppers are active during day time as they don’t have any nest or proper location to stay. So, they spend most of their time in the search of food. Most of the grasshoppers live independently but some of them gather in groups.
Grasshopper is of Two Types-
Long-Horned Grasshopper - This type of grasshopper has an antenna about the same length as the body.
Short-Horned Grasshopper - They have an antenna about half-length of the body. These can be called locusts when they migrate.
Some of the basic features of the grasshopper are:
Grasshopper is commonly green, brown, or grey in colour. But some of the male grasshoppers are more colorful to attract female grasshoppers.
The weight of the grasshopper varies from species to species but an average adult grasshopper weighs about 300 milligrams.
The size of the grasshopper ranges from 1.3 centimeters to 15 centimeters.
One of the researchers from Washington University (St. Louis) had engineered the “cyborg grasshoppers”. To find the explosives which were proven to be 80% accurate with seven grasshoppers.
They were also used as a symbol of freedom, Independence, Spiritual, Enlightenment, etc.
Some of the basic characteristics of the grasshoppers are:
They have a basic insect body with a head, thorax and abdomen.
Grasshoppers have a pair of compound eyes which gives them an all-around vision.
They have a pair of antennae that senses touch and smell.
They have a segmented abdomen and thorax and also rigid cuticle made of overlapping plates(Composed of chitin).
They have two pairs of wings and three pairs of legs.
In total, The Grasshopper abdomen has eleven segments.
Grasshopper belongs to the kingdom - Animalia, Phylum - Arthropoda, Class - Insecta, Order - Orthoptera, Suborder - Caelifera, Infraorder - Acrididae. Looking at this classification now, We can easily answer for the grasshopper scientific name.
The scientific name of the grasshopper changes with the change in grasshopper species:
American Grasshopper – Schistocerca Americana
Horsehead Grasshopper – Pseudo Proscopia scabra
Desert Locust – Schistocerca gregaria
Leaf Grasshopper – Phyllochoreia ramakrishnai
Grasshopper and Locusts are insects from the Acrididae family. Locusts are grasshoppers that form a swarm if there are certain unique conditions. Such conditions include dense vegetation growth after a prolonged period of 0 vegetation. Locusts can fly higher in length than a grasshopper. Grasshoppers and Locusts differ a lot in terms of their structure, even though they are quite similar visually. The grasshopper undergoes the process of incomplete metamorphosis. The 3 stages from birth to adult in a grasshopper’s life cycle is -
The Egg Stage: Just after fertilization, the female grasshopper lays the eggs beneath the soil or on leaf litters. The female grasshopper then sprays a sticky substance on the eggs, to form an egg pod that contains around then to three hundred eggs. The eggs remain under the sand or amongst leaf litter during the autumn and winter season. After 10 months, during warmer times of summer or spring, the eggs hatch and come out as nymphs.
The Nymph Stage: As the nymphs appear from their separate eggs, they roam around searching for plant foliage to eat. The nymph looks quite the same as the adult grasshopper. The only difference is that their reproductive organs and wings are yet to develop. Moulting is the procedure through which the animal sheds skin to begin new growth. In the case of grasshoppers, the nymph undergoes 5 to 6 stages of moulting before it evolves as an adult grasshopper. This stage of a grasshopper's life span stays nearly for 6 weeks. It then reaches the final stage and transforms into an adult grasshopper.
The Adult Stage: After entering 25 to 30 days into the adult stage, the nymph begins to develop wings. Then within 15 days, the adult grasshoppers acquire sexual maturity. Unlike the nymph, the adult grasshopper has better mobility and has the ability to hunt and escape from predators in their environment. Even though the lifespan of a grasshopper is only twelve months, only 50%of grasshoppers live off to that stage and have a natural death. Many of the adult Grasshoppers die because of predators like birds, lizards, etc.
Grasshoppers are insects and are very small. This makes their food for many birds and snakes who share the environment with grasshoppers. There are nearly 11,000 species of grasshoppers and the majority of the species of grasshoppers are herbivores, which means they only eat plants.
Some species of Grasshoppers are omnivores as they also consume animal tissues and faeces. Grasshoppers vary in size but most adult grasshoppers are roughly between 1 centimetre to 7 centimetres in length. Due to their tiny size, grasshoppers fall prey to many predators.
Grasshoppers are one of the staple food sources for many animals. The most common predators of grasshoppers include birds, spiders, reptiles, beetles, and many other insects. Some human beings enjoy eating grasshoppers. Grasshoppers and other insects are conventional food and a source of natural protein.
During the reproducing season, the male grasshopper inserts his sperm in the abdomen region of the female grasshopper, from where it travels to the egg through the canal called micropyles. Unlike other insects, the grasshopper’s life cycle consists of three stages – the egg, the nymph, the adult. This type of life cycle, where there are 3 stages, is called incomplete metamorphosis. The life cycle which consists of 4 distinct stages is called complete metamorphosis.
1. Can grasshoppers bite?
Yes, grasshoppers of some species and when they are in groups they can bite if they feel threatened by the opponent. Grasshoppers are not poisonous but due to their strong jaws, it will be painful if they attack. It is notable that Grasshoppers have teeth called Mandibles which help them chew. So, we don’t have to worry much about them. Even if the grasshopper bites a human, due to no venom, there will be no or very short term effect.
2. What to do if you were bitten by a grasshopper?
When bitten by a grasshopper, check for the foreign body left in the grasshopper bite. If any, remove it gently from the body. Then wash the area with soap and water. After some time check for the swelling and if the area is swollen place the ice pack on it. And if the bitten area is painful, take some painkillers, for example, Advil. And if they are itching apply.
3. Where are grasshoppers found?
Grasshoppers usually like to stay in the moist region and the place which has a less shaded region. Grasshoppers are more in the places where the rainfall is less, for example, Rajasthan because it favours them to reproduce and grow. And they usually live by feeding on plants and vegetables. So even, this is one of the reasons for their attraction. The grasshoppers naturally tend to become more plentiful in areas with rare natural predators, like birds, lizards, spiders, etc.
4. How does a grasshopper pick up vibrations?
Grasshoppers are flying insects who belong to the order Orthoptera and are under the suborder Caelifera. Grasshoppers hear by accepting and processing sound waves. The body of a grasshopper consists of the thorax, head, and abdomen. The abdomen region has a large membrane called the Tympanum which is the hearing organ of the grasshopper. The tympanum picks up the vibrations like a drum. The tympanum is situated near the base of the grasshopper's hind legs. This is how a grasshopper picks on vibrations without any ears in an environment.
5. What is the lifecycle of a grasshopper?
The 3 stages from in grasshopper’s life cycle are-
The Egg: The female grasshopper, after fertilization, lays her eggs under the soil or on the leaf. She then pours a sticky substance on the eggs to create an egg pod. The eggs stay under the sand or on the leaf litter during the autumn and winter season.
The Nymph: The nymphs emerge from the eggs and they roam around looking for plant foliage to ingest. The nymph looks like the adult grasshopper but with no wings and reproductive organs.
The Adult: 25 to 30 days into the adult stage, the nymph begins to develop wings. The adult grasshoppers get sexually matured within 15 days.
6. What Attracts the Grasshoppers?
Grasshoppers usually like to stay in the moist region and the place which has a less shaded region. Grasshoppers are more in the places where the rainfall is less, for example, Rajasthan because it favours them to reproduce and grow. And they usually live by feeding on plants and vegetables. So even, this is one of the reasons for their attraction.