Class : Insecta
Order : Orthoptera ; Latreille, 1793
Suborder : Caelifera
Distribution : Worldwide
Size : 9 – 80 mm ( 3/8 – 3 1/4 In )
They are around 11,000 different species of grasshopper, distributed across some 2,400 genera. The majority of these are found in tropical regions, however others can be found across most of the temperate zones as well. They are all herbivorous, and can vary in size from a few millimetres to over 15 cm in length. One characteristic of the groups that helps to distinguish them from other similar suborders is that they have short antennae – typically these are shorter than the body. They usually have cryptic coloration, which helps them to avoid predators – if this does not work, however they are usually ready to make use of their powerful back legs to jump to safety. Some species use their wings to assist this process by gliding the last few feet.
Grasshopper are well-known for making musical ‘chirps ‘ this is known as stridulation, and is achieved by rubbing the legs or wings together. The sounds they produce are mainly for reproductive purposes. Once a female has mated successfully, she usually lays her eggs in soft ground or at the base of various plants.