Thursday, 15 July 2010


I am generally not a fan of grasshoppers, particularly the large ones you find during dry weather (pictured below). But small nymphs like this little green fella (left) is ok.

Grasshoppers are herbivores which belong to the suborder Caelifera in the order Orthoptera. Females tend to be larger than males. They come in a variety of colours, with the more common ones in ranges of green or brown. They also tend to have a black herringbone pattern on the hind femur. Grasshoppers have 2 pairs of wings, antennae which is generally shorter than the body, conspicuous eyes and huge hind legs which enable it to jump. At a very young stage, grasshoppers have no wings. They are generally widespread throughout the world include temperate climates like New England. They tend to fall prey to birds, lizards, mantids, spiders, and rodents. One of the more interesting behavioral observations is the fact that during egg laying, the female tends to dig a hole with her abdomen. In terms of their role within the ecosystem, their droppings contribute to nutrient turnover by returning nutrients as fertiliser for the plants. They are also a food source for birds and other anthropods. But in large numbers, certain species of grasshoppers can cause serious crop damage and loss of plants in pastures.

Here are some links to information on this critter.

Field Guide to Grasshoppers
Grasshopper Species List
Orthoptera of the Vacant Lots in Bedok South A paper written by M.K. Tan
Grasshoppers and Crickets ID Guide

No comments:

Post a Comment