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Great Grasshopper Facts

Grasshoppers are insects that can hop, walk, and fly. Many male grasshoppers make noise by rubbing their back legs together. There are about 10,000 different species of grasshoppers.

Anatomy: Like all insects, the grasshoppers have a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), six jointed legs, two pairs of wings, and two antennae. Their body is covered with a hard exoskeleton. Grasshoppers breathe through a series of holes called spiracles; they are located along the sides of the body. Most grasshoppers are green, brown, or olive-green. The biggest ones are about 4.5 inches (11.5 cm) long.

The Legs: The long hind legs are used for hopping. The short front legs are used to hold prey and to walk.

Metamorphosis: Grasshoppers undergo simple (or incomplete) metamorphosis; eggs hatch into nymphs, which look like little adults without wings and reproductive organs. Nymphs molt many times as they grow to be adults.

Diet and Predators: Grasshoppers eat plants. Their predators include birds, beetles, rodents, reptiles, and spiders. Some flies also eat grasshopper eggs.