Grasshoppers are hexapods belonging to the order Orthoptera. They share a series of characteristics with other groups of insects as we can see in the article on Types of insects of AnimalWised. However, they can be differentiated from other hexapods by their cephalic capsule. This is hypognant since it is perpendicular to the axis of the body and is adapted to the type of feeding of the grasshopper..
If you want to know what do grasshoppers eat, This AnimalWised article may be very interesting to you. ¡Do not miss it!You may also be interested in: What do crickets eat? Index
- Grasshopper mouthpart
- Differences between brown and green grasshoppers
- Feeding the brown and green grasshoppers
- Do grasshoppers drink water?
Grasshoppers possess a chewing mouth appliance that presents slight modifications depending on the type of diet. This oral apparatus consists of mandibular, maxillary and lip structures, involved in the feeding of grasshoppers. This can be carnivorous, although most grasshoppers are phytophagous based their diet mainly on plant matter, which can cause damage to crops on some occasions.
In the following sections, we will learn about two types of grasshoppers and the diet they carry out. These are the green grasshopper and the brown grasshopper, also known as the giant grasshopper or locust..
To learn more about grasshoppers, we advise you to read this other article on Insect characteristics.
Differences between brown and green grasshoppers
Both have a very similar structure, although, given their different way of life, some morphological differences can be distinguished between the brown grasshopper or lobster and the typical green grasshopper that we are used to seeing in nature.
The well-known locusts are a type of grasshopper that is characterized by its gregarious behavior. These gather in masses capable of traveling great distances in search of food, therefore, they have developed longer and stronger structures that allows such migrations, such as the wings. Regarding its coloration, there are species that have adopted these brown tones as a way of adapting to the environment, this is the case of the majority of grasshoppers belonging to the family of Panfágids. They experience a reduction or loss of their wings, making them more vulnerable to predators because they cannot fly and flee, therefore, they have these brown tones as a way of camouflage between the leaves or the ground..
The green grasshopper is usually solitary, finding itself mainly in vegetation and moving short distances to feed. To do this, it has a powerful jumping hind legs that they can also use to flee predators quickly if threatened.
If in addition to these characteristics of grasshoppers you are curious to know how grasshoppers breathe, do not miss this other AnimalWised article about ¿Where and how insects breathe?
Feeding the brown and green grasshoppers
Grasshoppers have taste buds on their antennae, with which they receive information about the quality of the food before it is brought to their mouths and crushed with their strong jaws. In general, they are phytophagous animals, since they consume a large amount of plant matter, such as certain leaves, grass and / or fruits. However, it should be noted that there are also species that feed on other small animals such as some mosquitoes. In this section, we will be able to know more precisely the grasshopper feeding browns (lobsters) and greens.
¿What do brown grasshoppers eat?
These are fundamentally herbivorous, as they are grouped in huge pests capable of ending more than 100,000 tons of plants daily. They are impressively voracious from the moment they are born until they die and can cause economic damage, since some losses have already been found in crops of peanuts, soybeans and corn, among others, due to its great diet.
In short, they are animals capable of feeding on hundreds of plant species different, since they need to consume the equivalent of their body weight per day. This is the case, for example, of the lobster genus Schistocerca.
¿What do green grasshoppers eat?
Green grasshoppers can also consume a large amount of plant matter, such as different species of plants, fruits or herbs. However, within this group, a group of species can also be found predatory or omnivorous. This is the case of some grasshoppers of the Tettigoniidae family.
An example is the common green grasshopper (Tettigonia viridissima), whose diet is based on other animals, such as small insects (caterpillars, flies, mosquitoes, larvae, etc.).
Do grasshoppers drink water?
In nature, like other herbivorous insects, grasshoppers get the Water necessary from the food itself, as is the grass. Being animals that consume vegetables in large quantities, they are usually always sufficiently hydrated. However, as can be expected, they will receive a greater contribution of water if they consume grass or wetter leaves where there is a greater concentration of water..
Therefore, it would not be unusual to see grasshoppers near leaves where the humidity of the air condenses in the form of drops (dew), which can be used by the animal..
Now that you know what grasshoppers eat, you may be interested in this other AnimalWised article about 10 rarest insects in the world..