External Features and Life Cycle of Grasshopper.


This  blog post provides readers with the following objectives. The reader will be able to:
o   Identify Grasshopper.
o   Describe the external features and life processes of Grasshopper.



Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Orthoptera

Habitats of Grasshopper

Grasshoppers  are found in; grassland, gardens, farmlands, savanna, forest and field.

Structure of Grasshopper

It has triangular head with a pair of conspicuous compound eyes, a pair of short antennae and biting and chewing mouthparts.

The adults have two pairs of wings; the fore wings and hind wings. The fore wings are narrow, tough and leathery called tegmina or elytraprotecting the hind wings. The hind wings are large, membranous used for flight.

The hind legs are usually enlarged with long and strong femur, modified for jumping or leaping. The femur bears some hook-like structures which rub against the fore wings to produce a characteristic sound. 

The first abdominal segment bears circular patches called Tympana (singular: tympanumon each side. The tympanum is sensitive to sound vibration. 

The females bear a short ovipositor at the end of the abdomen. The ovipositor has two pairs of valves used to dig a hole in the sand into which eggs are laid.

Structure of a grasshopper

Mode of Life of Grasshopper

Incomplete Metamorphosis of Grasshopper

They feed on the natural vegetation by cutting off pieces with their jaws. They move by walking, climbing, and hopping but they can fly short distances. Grasshopper are solitary, unlike locust that can co-exist in swarms. Grasshopper develops by incomplete metamorphosis, i.e., there is no larval stage. The female lays the eggs in warm, moist sand by creating a hole with the ovipositor. The eggs are hatch into wingless nymphs which resemble the adults. The nymph molt five times to become adult with wings.

Economic Importance of Grasshopper

1. In certain countries, grasshoppers are eaten as a good source of protein.
2.  Locust swarms can cause massive damage to crops and also reduced crop yield.
3.  Some grasshoppers are important, acting as pests on farmlands.
4.  Transmission of plants pathogens such as bacteria and virus.


Control of Grasshopper

Spray insecticides over swarms of hoppers using aircraft or motor vehicles.


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