Green Grasshopper

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Green Grasshopper

The green grasshopper is an insect that’s known for its characteristic hopping.  They can also walk and fly.  Grasshoppers have antennae that are shorter than their bodies.  There are about 400 different kinds of grasshoppers in the western United States, and not all of them are green. Some varieties can also be brown or black. 

One of the most important aspects of the life of a green grasshopper is the seasonal cycle.  Every day plays an important role in the seasonal cycle.  The green grasshopper usually starts his day right after dawn by looking for a place to warm up from the colder temperatures overnight.  Most grasshoppers turn one side to the sunlight for a while before turning the other side to the sun so they can warm up.  After about one or two hours lying in the sun, grasshoppers then start to walk around, look for mates, or feed.  Grasshoppers tend to be less active on cold or rainy days because they are cold-blooded insects.  

The green grasshopper typically forages for food twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.  All grasshoppers feed on different kinds of plants and have different ways of taking their plants apart to get food from them.  Grasshoppers are very picky about what they eat, and they often use their antennae to taste the plant and decide if it’s worth eating before they consume it. 

When looking for a mate, grasshoppers communicate through physical motions and verbal sounds.  Grasshoppers make sounds with their hind legs and wings, and they have small ears in the front section of their abdomen.  Grasshoppers also use their wings and hind legs to flash messages to each other, using their complicated eyes to gather the messages and interpret them.  

When the season comes to lay eggs, the female grasshopper lays her eggs in the ground.  Some varieties choose bare ground, while others look for a nice spot among tall grasses.  Female grasshoppers usually probe the soil several times before she deposits her eggs.  Scientists say the grasshoppers probe the soil to determine if the chemical composition of the soil is right for laying eggs in.  Usually one or even several male grasshoppers will hang around while the female grasshopper is laying eggs.  Females can take anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour and a half to lay all their eggs.  The female grasshopper then covers up the eggs she laid with nearby dirt and grass. 

Grasshoppers have several natural predators.  Birds often prey on grasshoppers, and some researchers have found birds to be very helpful in battling a grasshopper outbreak.  There are more than 200 kinds of birds that are known to prey on grasshoppers, although gulls and hawks can especially help cut down grasshopper population.  Some mammals also eat grasshoppers, although not much study has been done on whether mammals can help control grasshopper outbreaks.  Mammals that are known to eat grasshoppers include some kinds of mice, shrews, ground squirrels, skinks, foxes, and coyotes.