Grasshoppers are one of the oldest living groups of insects, with the earliest fossil evidence dating back to 250 million years. These insects belong to the suborder Caelifera and order Orthoptera.
Generally, grasshoppers are herbivorous insects, preferring to feed on grasses. However, a few species are known to be omnivores, feeding on animal tissue and faeces. Historically, grasshoppers are considered pests as they tend to destroy crops, often forming huge swarms.
Grasshoppers have a lot of natural predators at all stages of their life-cycle. For instance, the eggs and larvae are preyed on by beetles and flies while adult grasshoppers are preyed on by ants, spiders and many other mammals such as cats and dogs. Grasshoppers are also affected by parasites, such as the Grasshopper nematode (Mermis nigrescens).
To combat predation, grasshoppers also have a wide range of adaptations. These enable them to avoid being detected or eaten. Most species of grasshoppers also employ camouflage, enabling them to blend into their natural habitat. Some species such as the Proscopides family of grasshoppers can mimic sticks and twigs.
Another predator defense mechanism is the bright coloration of some species. This advertises the insect as poisonous or inedible to predators. This form of adaptation is called aposematism.
Scientific names of Select Grasshopper Species
- American grasshopper – Schistocerca americana
- Leaf grasshopper – Phyllochoreia ramakrishnai
- Horsehead grasshopper – Pseudoproscopia scabra
- Desert locust – Schistocerca gregaria
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Frequently Asked Questions on Grasshopper Scientific Name
What is the scientific name of grasshopper?
Grasshoppers belong to the suborder Caelifera and order Orthoptera.