Grasshopper: Key Facts

Did you know that there are thousands of grasshopper species throughout the world? Or that some grasshoppers have the ability to morph into swarming, destructive locusts? Keep reading! In this article, we’ll talk about these and other grasshopper key facts.

Quick Facts About Grasshoppers

Scientific Name:Acrididae
Type of Creature:Insect
Number of Species:About 11,000
Physical Description:Medium to large insects with thin bodies and strong back legs used for jumping. Some species have wings as well. Typically brown, olive, tan, or green in color. Juvenile grasshoppers look like miniature versions of the adults, while their eggs look like grains of rice grouped together in hard-foam egg cases.
Distribution:Widely distributed on every continent except Antarctica.
Habitat:Found in a variety of habitats, including tropical forests, grasslands, swamps, mountains, and deserts. 
Size:Varies widely by species; from 0.39 inches to over 4 inches long.
Diet:Primarily herbivorous; foods include:
– Leafy greens
– Grains
– Vegetables and fruits
– Flowers
– Grass and weeds
– Insects
– Animal feces
Lifespan:Varies by species; usually 9 to 12 months.
Life Stages:Three:
– Egg
– Nymph
– Adult

What are Grasshoppers?

Grasshoppers are insects found throughout the world. They are well-known for their jumping abilities, their high-pitched chirping noises, and in some parts of the world, their value as a nutritious food.

There are at least 11,000 known species of grasshopper. Most of these species are solitary, though a few have the potential to morph into locusts and swarm.

Grasshoppers are usually neutral colors such as brown, tan, green, and olive, allowing them to blend into their surroundings. Those that become locusts often take on brighter colors, such as black and yellow.

Grasshoppers begin their lives as eggs; when they hatch, the baby nymphs look much like the adults they will eventually turn into. These nymphs grow and shed their skin throughout the spring and summer.

Adult grasshoppers mate during the late summer months. Males die soon after mating, while females typically live several weeks longer, until they have laid all of their eggs.

How Far Can Grasshoppers Jump?

If you’ve ever seen a grasshopper spring away as you approached it, you may have been impressed by the length of its jump. Perhaps you wondered, just how far can a grasshopper travel in a single bound?

The answer, of course, varies from species to species. Smaller grasshoppers can’t jump as far as larger grasshoppers.

In general, though, most grasshoppers can jump about 10 to 20 times their own body length. With this in mind, some of the largest species can travel nearly 60 inches with each jump.

Most grasshoppers are smaller so they can’t jump quite so far. That said, it’s fairly common for grasshoppers to be able to jump 30 to 50 inches at a time. It helps them avoid some of their animal enemies.

Check out this video to see a grasshopper (locust) jumping in slow motion:


Grasshoppers are found in many different habitats throughout the world, and they come in many different shapes and sizes. They are herbivorous insects known for their long jumps and the chirping noises they make throughout the summer as they search for mates.

Looking for more information about forest insects? Check out our popular guides about fireflies and dragonflies.

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