While summarizing some of the imperative grasshopper facts for kids, several important insights about the insect come to the fore. This article explains grasshopper diet, behavior, reproduction and widespread distribution. The grasshopper is an insect that belongs to the Caelifera suborder. Apart from crickets or katydids, grasshoppers are also denoted as short-horned grasshopper.
Some species deemed to change their color or behavior at greater population densities and are known as locust. These insects have antennae that are relatively undersized as compared to their body. With the help of powerful mandibles, grasshoppers tear off their food. The powerful and long hind femora are perfectly made for leaping. They are greyish brown in color, and often tinged with reddish brown.
Although they have wings, but these wings are not typically made for the proper flight which is why most grasshoppers are seen to take shocking flight. Males are relatively shorter than females, with longer ovipositors. There is a lone plate at the abdomen end of the insect. There are two pairs of valves that are attached to the female’s abdomen and these are actually used for digging whilst laying eggs.
Grasshoppers are simply baffled with the crickets, falling in the same order; nevertheless, grasshoppers have distinctive features in numerous aspects. For example, there is a sheer difference in the number of segments (in antennae), structure of the ovipositor, and methods of sound production as well as the position of tympana. Unlike caeliferans, there are around 20 to 24 segments in Ensiferans. Grasshoppers are thought to live in the tropical wet forests.
Grasshopper Facts For Kids
- There are loosely held nerve cells that manipulate the grasshopper’s nervous system. These are called gangalia. These cells are commonly known to exist in nearly all species. All the gangalia operates at the centre (neuropile) of the brain.
- Grasshoppers are also eaten as a paramount source of food. It has great quantity of protein. Nonetheless, these species embrace tapeworms which is why they must be eaten cautiously.
- Grasshoppers are also reliant on the surroundings to change their colors. This is necessary especially to get rid of potential predators like frogs. Most of these species are well reformed to the green fields and forests.
- Grasshopper facts for kids show that these insects are found almost everywhere in the world except in extreme cooler regions.
- There are three types of grasshoppers such as long-horned grasshopper, short-horned grasshopper and pygmy grasshopper. Locust is another type of grasshopper.
- Grasshoppers are also known to leap 20 times their length.
- The weight of these species measure around 2 – 3 grams; however they can prolong their legs contrary to the ground with a force of about 30 grams with half-legs extended. This operates when the leg muscles tighten. All (contractions and thrust) must be done speedily otherwise grasshopper won’t be able to take-off too far.
- These insects have no ears but they can certainly hear. The organ known as tympanum facilitates hearing. One of the unique grasshopper facts for kids is that the tympanum is positioned at the abdomen and is often confused with a huge round disk. It’s an eardrum that is located on one side of the insect and it enables grasshopper to hear.
- Do you know that grasshoppers are also known to sing late at night? In case, you do not sleep the whole night and suddenly the chirping voice emerges from the severe darkness, it’d be the grasshoppers singing voice. They do not sing for us; rather the sole purpose is to draw females toward them for mating.
- Grasshoppers have two bulky eyes on top of the head. These are considered to be the complex eyes. There are thousands of small eyes that operates within the great eye to shape a picture in a grasshopper’s brain. The three eyes attached enable these species to look sideways, forward as well as backward for countless distances.
Read More: How long do grasshoppers live?
What Do Grasshoppers Eat
Grasshopper facts about its diet includes that these species are herbivores and they predominantly feed on leaves, stems, roots, grasses, and cereal crops. Most of these species are polyphagous. These types of insects are particularly known to feed on variety of plants in a single day though some species tend to restrict their diet to few plants material. There are around 8000 grasshopper species in the world.
There is a foregut coupled with the hindgut in the digestive system of insects. The mandible and salivary glands make the mouth discrete. These mandibles begin to chew their food marginally and give rise to the mechanical digestion. Because of the carbohydrates involve in grasses, grasshoppers are very fond of feeding grass. Salivary glands facilitate the food to assimilate chemically. The food, after entering into the mouth, move further across the esophagus and finally into the crop. This crop is capable to embrace food. The food then passes into the gizzard which has sharp teeth-like features.
Finally, the food moves from the gizzard to its final destination which is stomach where digestive enzymes assists the food to break it down. Enzymes begin from the gastric caeca encircling the stomach. These are the primary excretion organs. The hindgut involves intestine parts (rectum and ileum) and leaves across the anus. Nearly all food is fingered in the midgut; however certain food is left for the residue wastes which are mostly embedded with the uric acid, amino acids and urea. These wastes are normally transformed into dry pallets before being actually discharged of.
Interesting Grasshopper Facts about its Reproduction
Migratory grasshoppers give rise to a lone generation in most of its range, and overwinter in the egg stage. As far as the southern generation is concerned, two generations may befall each year. The hatching period begins in the late July under the normal circumstances. Hatching demands 40 to 45 days to develop the population. The grasshopper’s eggs are yellow in color and are elongate-elliptical together with a minor curved shape. The shape of these eggs very much resembles to that of bananas’. The length of the eggs measure around 4.5 mm by length, while the width measuring at 1.2 mm. The eggs are organized in two features within an egg pod. There are around 18 to 20 eggs in a single pod and are repressed to a depth of 35 mm. The length of these pods is about 25 mm, with a diameter measuring at 3 – 4 mm. Healthy females are capable to produce 7 to 10 pods at regular intervals of 2 – 3 days. Consequently, fecundity of 200 eggs per female is probable.
Grasshopper Facts For Kids | Worst Attacks
Unless they are stopped, they may cost farmers millions. They are like a scattered army—you can’t shoot them all. In the mid of 19th century, grasshoppers are known to destroy most of the agricultural crops which bring these insects into directly conflict with humans. Grasshoppers fall randomly in between migratory and nonmigratory groups. The migratory insect of this group (locust) are particularly known for devastating all the agricultural crops. These locusts migrate in massive groups comprising millions of individuals.
Read More: What do grasshoppers eat?
Locusts typically go for the sparingly stable zones while nonmigratory insects normally confront settled regions. Severe attacks had been observed in New England back in 1749, 1754, 1743, and 1754. In order to get rid of these hazardous insects, farmers used hopperdozers in the 19th and 20th century. The worst attacks also came to the fore in the period of great depression that is 1934, 1931, 1936, and 1939. However, the foulest amongst these invasions were the one that occurred in 1936 which obliterated all the crops ranging from Midwest, South and to the Great Plains.
Including grasshoppers, nearly 1 million species are capable to jump; many groups have advanced their own method of jumping habits of different kinds. Collembola (commonly known as springtails) are simple, tiny insects which have no wings; these are found under the rocks where they form the primary food for many other species, particularly pseudoscorpions. Collembola are skilled enough to make gigantic leaps through a special flicking mechanism. They also carry an elongated, stiff furcula at the tip of the abdomen. When the insect is at rest, the furcula is bent forward and lies beneath the abdomen, where it is held in place by retinaculum. When disturbed, the springtail through its strong abdominal muscles, extend the furcula with lightning speed, and as the furcula discloses, like a flick-knife blade the insect is catapulted into the air. Many jumping insects like click beetles and few others, employ their legs for jumping.
Is Grasshopper A Flying Insect? | Grasshopper Facts For Kids
Grasshoppers are not generally considered as flying insects. Nevertheless, they possess two pairs of wings, the first of which are hardened and reinforced with tough wing veins, and the second membraneous. The large, migratory species, known as locusts, are accompanied flyers with bush-crickets (Tettigoniidae) and true crickets (Gryllidae) differ from grasshoppers by having very long antennae.
Singing to the Sun and Moon | Grasshopper Facts For Kids
While many Orthoptera species have developed a unique jumping ability, they are often found singing in a loud voice; one can observe their voices in an uncultivated land in the sunny meadows of summer. All the Orthoptera, especially grasshoppers, crickets, and locusts are known to sing in a loud voice so much so that their voice overlaps the loud song of the cicadas. Amongst these, the male grasshoppers and bush-crickets (family Tettigoniidae) are relatively popular for singing and they live in small colonies in rough vegetation and grass. Most Orthoptera are sun-worshippers, although a good many number of crickets start singing in evening and into the night in summer; the house cricket is almost entirely nocturnal.
They produce these sounds via a special structure which is located on its pair of wings that, when rubbed either with the wings or with the modified legs, become the source of these sounds. One of the species of Orthoptera is a green bush-cricket, Tettigonia viridissima, reaching a length of 7 – 8 centimeters (about 3 inches) have an extended thread-like antennae. It is generally found in the coastal districts of western and southern England and less commonly inland in late summer.
The grasshoppers (family Acrididae) having unique coloration holds short antennae as compared to that of bush-crickets. While the grasshopper is busy in stridulation, one can easily observe the rise and fall of its extended long legs provided the movement is slow and the note is a low one. The not becomes higher in pitch as the movement speeds up.
Like bush-crickets, true crickets let their front wings to come into play for stridulation but unlike the former the latter has a file on the right wing and the wings always lie with the right wing uppermost. The complicated structure of the stridulatory organs thereby gives rise to the delicate song which is quite pleasing to the human ear. True crickets have long been kept in captivity by men of several historical periods so that they may listen to the melodious songs of these insects.