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Grasshoppers and crickets

A leaf mimic katydid, a kind of bush cricket  A leaf mimic katydid, a kind of bush cricket Grasshoppers, crickets and locusts are insects with long, powerful back legs. Many species can make loud, chirping “songs”. Most grasshoppers and crickets are plant-eating insects that live above ground. Their jaws are designed for biting and chewing. Their young are miniature adults, known as nymphs. Some of these insects are coloured for camouflage, or have bright markings to warn predators that they have a foul taste.


Elegant grasshopperElegant grasshopperGrasshoppers, crickets, locusts and weta belong to an order of insects called orthoptera. Their name means “straight-winged”. All insects in this family have two pairs of wings. The transparent rear wings fold up behind the hardened, leathery front wings. Most orthopterans can produce loud chirping sounds to communicate with one another.

A desert locust leaps into the air.A desert locust leaps into the air.

Leaping to safety

Grasshoppers, crickets and locusts have very good senses. As soon as they spot danger, they spring to safety. They have very powerful back legs which they use to make huge jumps. Their muscular legs can also deliver a powerful kick if seized by a predator.

There are about 20,000 species of grasshopper or cricket.

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