Grasshoppers are one of the most common insects that can be found in various parts of the world. Close to 20,000 species of grasshoppers exist around the world and these include locusts. When they are seen in backyards or farms, some kids love to play with them because of their jumping abilities. Aside from jumping, grasshoppers are also interesting because of the following facts:
Fact 1: Grasshoppers do not have ears. These hopping insects do have five eyes but they aren’t gifted with actual ears. Instead, they use their tympanal organ located in their abdomen to detect some sound and movement.
Fact 2: The life span of grasshoppers is pretty short at only 1 year. Grasshoppers start their life as eggs and become larvae when they hatch. Development of their bodies will then make them become nymphs with similar body structure to adults except that no wings are formed yet. Adult grasshoppers will have fully developed bodies and two sets of wings.
Fact 3: Grasshoppers are experts at jumping. They can jump from one position to another at 20 times their body size which could be as large as 5 inches. Their powerful legs let them catapult their bodies to the air and reaching far distances.
Fact 4: Grasshoppers are also great at flying. Many people may only see them as great hoppers but these insects can also fly so fast especially when moving away from possible predators like birds.
Fact 5: Some grasshopper species are welcomed by farmers. The two-striped grasshopper for example helps cattle by feeding on plants that are harmful and toxic to these animals. The Turnbull specie meanwhile helps in the weeding out of various farms.
Fact 6: The grasshopper mandible is their strongest body part. This is based on the fact that when these insects get eaten by birds and choked out, the only remaining intact body part are their mandibles which they use for side to side eating.
Fact 7: When defending themselves, some grasshopper species will spit out a brownish liquid. Some people refer to this liquid as tobacco juice. If they are threatened for example, the brown liquid they spit will serve as a repellent against predators.
Fact 8: The jumping ability of grasshoppers helps remove their own dung. Jumping is not only for moving about from one place to another but rather also used for a practical purpose and that is to remove the insect’s own feces that got stuck from their bottoms.
Fact 9: Grasshoppers can also sing. Some species rub their legs to produce a distinct sound while others flap their wings to create a singing sound. There are grasshopper species though that are pretty silent and do not make sounds with their legs or wings.
Fact 10: A swarm of grasshoppers will cause farm damage. Millions of dollars may be lost when thousands of these insects eat out all foliage in a field or farm.
Fact 11: Grasshoppers inhabited the Earth even before dinosaurs came along. The early ancestors of these hopping insects were known to have lived for more than 200 million years already.
Fact 12: Many people love to eat grasshoppers. In many parts of Asia, the Americas and Africa for example, grasshoppers are regular ingredients for some local food and delicacies.