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Grasshoppers, crickets and katydids are in order Orthoptera. Their size ranges from 5mm to 100mm. Most of them have highly developed hind legs, much stronger and larger than the other four legs, used for jumping. The adults have four wings; the front wings, knows as tegmina, are tough and narrow when compare with the hind wings. At rest, the hind wings fold like a fan, covered and protected by the tegmina. Flight is mainly achieved by the broadly opened membranous hind wings -- the tegmina will give only little help.


 


Tough Skinned: Grasshoppers have a tough outer skin which affords them great protection. They vary extensively in color, depending largely on local environments. Dry arid environments tend to produce more species which are tan to brown in color, while moist, succulent terrain will have greener grasshoppers. Many species will start a season green, however, and turn brown as the summer lags on into fall.


This image has been released into the public domain by its author, Arpingstone. This applies worldwide. In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so: Arpingstone grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.The Piano Man: Most grasshoppers are great songsters. Males will use sound during courtship, and their voices are so distinctive that many people are able to identify species by their song! Shorthorned species are only able to sing by rubbing various body parts together so they are really only able to "chirp". However, both females and males will use sound throughout the year. It is believed their song is used to communicate food locations, mating seasons and the general state of local populations.

Insect Email: Grasshoppers have well developed ears which enable their sound to find the right target from great distances. It is clear their use of sound keeps them close together, which is essential for species development and survival.

Plagues: Grasshoppers are worst known for the damage they do while eating. They have strong chewing mouth parts along with ferocious appetites, and have been known to clear acres of crops, wild terrain and urban landscaping. At times they appear to eat whatever is in their path. Although common in the United States, a relative of the grasshopper -- the locust -- is a devastating force in other parts of the world, where they can descend in enormous clouds and wreak havoc on crops within only a few minutes.

Here's Spit in Your Eye: Although they're typically not "biters", they do have the ability to chew on fingertips, when captured. Their main defense, when captured, is to produce a foul, sticky brown "spit" in alarm or fear. While not toxic, the spit is usually enough to cause capturing hands (or mouths) to release the grasshopper in surprise.

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 Kingdom: Animalia

 Phylum: Arthropoda

 Class: Insecta

 Order: Orthoptera

 Suborder: Caelifera