Grasshoppers and Crickets
ORTHOPTERA: GRASSHOPPERS & CRICKETS
- Adults have two pairs of wings: the hind ones are largest (a few species lack wings). The antennae are long or short: the eyes are large for good vision. The hind legs are modified for jumping.
- Jaws are of the biting and chewing type.
- The life history lacks a pupal stage:- thus egg, larva which resembles a small adult without wings, and adult. All stages are terrestrial.
- There are 4 major types in Britain:-
- Grasshoppers. Antennae are relatively short, cylindrical or clubbed at the end. Large jumping back legs.
- Ground-hoppers. Resemble small grasshoppers but with hard covering above abdomen and adults over-winter.
- Bush-crickets. Antennae are very long and thread-like. Large jumping back legs.
- Crickets. Antennae shorter thread-like. Adapted to running and burrowing, so hind legs less proficient at jumping.
- In size adults range from 10 mm to 50mm long.
What they do & where they live
- Most feed by chewing leaves, but some become partly or largely predatory in their later stages.
- They do not like cool climates, so the number of species diminishes northwards and with height and exposure. Thus most are confined to warm sunny places on heaths and grasslands, or along sunny hedgerow and wood edges. A few occur in fens and other open wet places. Those in woodland live in sunny rides and glades, or on trees.
Number of species
- The British fauna has about 30 resident breeding species, plus occasional migrants such as locusts.
- The world fauna is roughly 20,000 described species.
It's amazing Each species has its own distinctive song. The pitch frequency can be so high that many older people find in necessary to use bat-detectors to record species.