The Order Orthoptera consists of the Grasshoppers, Crickets and Katydids, with the grasshoppers divided into families of the Suborder Caelifera and the crickets and katydids divided into families of the Suborder Ensifera.
Many of the literally hundreds of different Orthoptera species are considered agricultural pests, making Orthoptera research a popular field in entomology.
Gardeners also dread the coming of grasshopper season because of the grasshopper's inclination to snack on most everything the gardener plants. Experts suggest tilling the garden soil during the fall, deep enough to expose the eggs pods to the elements. They can not withstand the cold of winter.
Swarming Locusts (Schistocerca)
Types of Insects
When it comes to identification, most people think short antenna and brown or green body when they think grasshopper.
Lubber Grasshoppers (Family Romaleidae) rank among the largest North American grasshoppers.
The Eastern Lubber (Romalea microptera), a problematic Southeast species, often causing considerable agriculture damage.
They grow to a fairly large size, with adults typically displaying either a colorful body, as shown in the first picture of the composite picture on the right side of the column.
The picture highlights the basically wingless adult. Rather than fly, they tend to walk at a slow and deliberate grazing pace.
The Horse Lubber (Taeniopoda eques), a colorful inhabitant of the desert Southwest, sometimes move in large numbers looking for desert grasslands to feed upon.
Many short-winged grasshopper species belong to the Short-horned Grasshopper family, Acrididae.
The top picture highlights a species probably in the Subfamily Melanoplinae (Spur-throated Grasshoppers), that looks to also belong to the Genus Melanoplus. With approximately seventy-five different species, it ranks as one of the largest, if not largest native grasshopper genera.
The Two-striped Grasshopper (Melanoplus bivittatus) inhabits grasslands and sites of herbaceous vegetation throughout most of the United States.
The picture shows the stripes of the grasshopper starting on the head, behind the eyes, and ending in a "V" point at the bottom of abdomen.
They are considered a major agricultural pest.
A variety of Orthoptera species go by the name cricket, however, members of the Family Gryllidae, also known as field crickets, bush crickets, ground crickets and tree crickets, are perhaps the best known.
Most cricket species are best known for their singing ability. In fact, only the males have the special forewings necessary to produce the typical cricket chirp.
Speaking of wings, while crickets have them, they are more a jumping than flying insect. Many entomologists estimate that common house and field crickets can jump up to twenty times their length. A five foot human would have to leap one hundred feet to match that record.
Asian cultures such as China and Japan share a long history of being enamored with crickets. People traditionally kept them as pets in cages or boxes to enjoy their singing or fighting abilities.
© 2009-2012 Patricia A. Michaels