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WHAT IS THE GRASSHOPPER?


Grasshoppers are usually brown insects with some darker markings but they can be all kinds of colors depending on the geography. They have grown to have 2 big hind legs for jumping and 2 pairs of wings to help them glide through the air after jumping because they can't fly. They also have very long antennae that grow from 20 to 24 segments. In the early stage of life the grasshopper has no wings. In later stages, wings become visible at the end of the thorax or body.



Grasshoppers feed on a variety of plants and some only feed on grass. Their predators include, birds, lizards, mantids, spiders and rodents. This creature effects the ecosystem and their habit in a positive ways because they help fertilize plant life, help fertilize the soil and provide food for birds and arthropods. Their negative impact is that some species of grasshopper occur in very large numbers and cause serious crop damage and loss of plants in pastures.














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Grasshoppers appear in the spring and summer but are most visible in the autumn. They like parklands and gardens and they appear most often in the middle of the day. Catching grasshoppers may require patience and determination. Once grasshoppers have wings, many species can fly faster than you can run. Those without wings are easier to chase. Grasshoppers are perceptive and can sense you when you are several feet away. If they are on a plant and you try to grab them, they will move around the stem and often drop off the plant. You can swing an insect net or place the net over the plant while holding up the bottom of the net. With your hand gently coax grasshoppers into the net. They will walk or jump up into the net. Once in the net, gently pick up the grasshopper and place it in a container.

 

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