How Do Grasshoppers Reproduce {Explained!}

Like all creatures, grasshoppers have to reproduce to keep their species going. But have you ever wondered how they do it, exactly? How do grasshoppers reproduce? Do they lay eggs or give birth to live young? What do the mating and egg-laying processes look like? Keep reading! In this article, we’ll answer all of these questions and more.

Do Grasshoppers Reproduce Sexually or Asexually?

Do Grasshoppers Reproduce Sexually or Asexually

The vast majority of grasshoppers reproduce sexually, with a male and a female mating in order for the male to fertilize the female’s eggs.

That said, some insects can also produce asexually, and the grasshopper is no exception.

In particular, one species of grasshopper found in Australia only reproduces asexually. This grasshopper, known as W. Virgo, is composed only of females which fertilize and lay their own eggs.

W. Virgo is an anomaly among grasshoppers, though. Most can only reproduce sexually.

Do Grasshoppers Lay Eggs or Have Babies?

Like other insects, grasshoppers lay eggs, and baby grasshoppers hatch from these eggs during the spring. 

Different species lay different numbers of eggs; some only lay a dozen or so, while others can lay up to 300. The number of eggs laid may also depend on mating success and environmental factors.

Grasshopper eggs vary in size depending on the species, but they have the same basic shape as grains of rice. They are often white or brown but may also be shades of yellow or olive-green.

Mother grasshoppers spend a lot of time searching for a suitable spot to lay their eggs, but they die shortly after laying them. Months later, the eggs hatch; the baby grasshoppers are completely independent and must take care of themselve to survive.

They molt, or shed their skin, several times over the following weeks, growing larger and developing wings and reproductive organs. Once they reach adulthood, they are ready to find a mate and begin the life cycle all over again.

How Do Grasshoppers Mate?

How Do Grasshoppers Mate

Grasshoppers typically mate in the late summer and early fall months. The eggs laid shortly thereafter don’t hatch until the following spring, which means that grasshoppers living in colder regions may spend the majority of their lives in the egg stage.

Some grasshopper species have elaborate courtship rituals. They may emit pheromones to attract mates, make a variety of sounds by rubbing their back legs over their wings, display bright colors, or perform a sort of mating dance.

Both males and females often mate several times in a season, both with the same partner and with new partners. This provides the best opportunity of reproductive success.

The act of copulation occurs when a male grasshopper mounts a female and inserts his aedeagus (the grasshopper version of a penis) into her ovipositor (egg-laying canal). A packet of sperm called a spermatophore will pass from the male into the female while in this position.

The mating process typically lasts around 40 minutes. During this time, the female may walk around foraging for food with the much smaller male grasshopper riding on her back. 

Once the job is finished, they go their separate ways, and the female begins searching for a safe spot to lay her eggs. 

Males often die soon after mating, but females may live for several more weeks, until all her eggs have been laid. The egg-laying process may last until cold weather has begun to set in.

How Do Grasshoppers Lay Eggs?

When a female grasshopper has found a safe, sheltered spot for her eggs, she uses special horn-like protrusions on her abdomen to dig a hole in the dirt. This hole is usually an inch or two deep.

With her abdomen inserted into the hole, she extends her ovipositor and the eggs pass out of her body. She then covers them in a foamy secretion which hardens to form a protective shell over the eggs.

The eggs are laid in a group, with the foamy shell acting as a “glue” to hold them together. Each collection of eggs is known as an egg pod.

The egg-laying process is a risky one for female grasshoppers; they must sit still for long periods of time with the abdomen inserted into the hole. This position leaves them open to attack from hungry birds or other predators who may be looking for an easy meal.

Even the grasshoppers which aren’t eaten while laying eggs are typically weakened during the process. They die not long after all of their eggs have been deposited.

Check out this video of a grasshopper laying eggs on top of the ground:


Most grasshoppers reproduce sexually, though some reproduce asexually. Those that mate typically do so in the late summer months, and females lay up to 300 eggs over the next several weeks as the weather begins to cool down. The eggs hatch the following spring, and the young grasshoppers that emerge shed their skin several times as they grow, eventually reaching adulthood and beginning the process all over again.

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