Where grasshopper lay eggs quest

Where grasshopper lay eggs quest

  • oversized back legs used for jumping
  • large compound eyes
  • fairly large size
  • it’s fluttery way of flying short distances
  • often grasshoppers make pops or snaps when they fly


When a female grasshopper is ready to lay her eggs, there’s hardly anyplace better for her to go than an open, sunny field. She needs soil to be loose enough for her to work her rear end into it. Once her rear end is well underground, while she is laying her eggs, a frothy, gluelike substance is deposited over them. This substance hardens around the eggs as it dries. The frothy mass, which can be called an egg pod, dries into something like a stiff sponge, so that when the eggs hatch there’ll be plenty of air for the newborn, and it won’t be too hard for the newborn to escape. The number of eggs in a pod varies from individual to individual, and species to species — maybe as few as six or so, or more than 150. Each female deposits several pods. Some species, instead of laying in pods, just cram them haphazardly here and there in the ground.

So, when young grasshoppers emerge from their eggs, they find themselves inside a honeycombed egg pod, and buried underground. They must push their delicate bodies upward through the soil, especially using their long back legs. During this process their bodies are covered by a membranous hatching skin, which to some degree both protects the body’s delicate parts, but also restricts movements of the legs, making it even harder to push upward.

At the ground’s surface, the hatching skin comes off, giving the legs full mobility. Grasshoppers undergo simple metamorphosis, so immature grasshoppers look more or less like adults, only smaller. As nymphs grow, they molt several times, shedding their “skins,” or exoskeletons. As with other insects that undergo simple metamorphosis, each progressive stage of nymph development is referred to as an “instar,” so we might speak of a 2nd instar grasshopper or a 4th instar one. The final molting results in a full-size adult with wings. Though it varies with species, five or six instar stages usually take place. The time from egg to adult typically is 40 to 60 days. That’s probably a 5th instar nymph in the picture below:

The above grasshopper is clearly a nymph because its wings are so short. The wing is the oval, finely pitted item appearing to issue from beneath the cape-like “back shield,” or prothorax. On an adult grasshopper the wings would project well beyond the abdomen’s rear end, but you can see that on this nymph it reaches only about a fourth of the distance.


Grasshoppers belong to the insect order Orthoptera, which also holds katydids, crickets, mantids, walkingsticks and cockroaches.

But, thing is, when you look at all the kinds of grasshoppers in the world along with all known grasshopper relatives, it becomes hard to decide where grasshoppers end and other insects, such as crickets and katydids, begin and end. According to the Peterson Field Guide A Field Guide to the Insects, here is one breakdown of the different kinds of grasshoppers found in North America:

found in North America

  • Short-horned Grasshoppers, family Acrididae
  • Long-horned Grasshoppers, family Tettigoniidae
    • Cone-headed Grasshoppers, subfamily Copiphorinae
    • Meadow Grasshoppers, subfamily Conocephalinae
    • Shield-backed Grasshoppers, subfamily Decticinae
  • Pygmy Grasshoppers, family Tetrigidae
  • Monkey Grasshoppers, family Tanaoceridae
  • Eumastacid Grasshopper, family Eumastacidae

Other field guides group them a little differently, plus some experts would refer to our “Meadow Grasshoppers” as “Meadow Katydids,” and make other similar name changes. The truth is that there’s no point to debate what’s a grasshopper and what’s not. The word “grasshopper” is standard English, but it has very little if any scientific value.

If you’d like to see the current breakdown of families and subfamilies in the Orthoptera, showing how grasshoppers mix in with crickets, katydids and the rest, check on the NCBI Taxonomy Browser’s Orthoptera Page.

You’ve probably heard of plagues of locusts and how sometimes vast clouds of them darken the sky. Locusts are grasshoppers. You may be interested in Naturalist Jim’s experience with locusts in Mexico, and seeing some pictures, as reported in his Naturalist Newsletter.


Thread: Anyone breed grasshoppers?

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Anyone breed grasshoppers?

In my never ending quest to be as independent from the pet stores as possible and to provide my frog with the best diet possible I have been researching breeding grasshoppers. My Lithobates palustris loves small grasshoppers and I am looking to set up a breeding colony come spring. I would like to know if anyone else out there breeds grasshoppers and could possibly pass on a little bit of wisdom to me about the best way to do this. Are they as smelly as as crickets? Also what is the ratio of nutrients to crickets? Thank you in advance for any info.

Re: Anyone breed grasshoppers?

No they are not as smelly as those cricket but poops alot! and also i am breeding grasshoppers but ended up killing up my egg sac because ants ravaged it! first if you want to breed easily , take a small container or 5 gallon tank and place up some substrate ( i use cocopeat) sand is possible also , feed them grass or veggiesss , be sure to take up adult only! males will have a plain butt, and the female will have a stick like thing in its butt used for laying eggs.Secondy place a cheese cloth on top as covering secured with rubber band , and if you want to easily clean its cage remove its jumping legs and also remove it before feeding to a frog because it is thorny.Thirdly removing its jumping legs wont kill it! i do it to all my grasshoper i got 3 pairs of grasshopper mating! and when you see them mate ,gently handle the female(at the botttom) and place them together to a seperate cage do not remove the mating position and males would die after mating in some species.here’s a pic of my hopper mating:

Unfortunately i dont have a pic of the setup i forgot lol sorry, but i have never successfully bred them because ants ate them and their egg sac! so place pertroleum jelly around its tank to prevent ants from climbing to it! they are easy to breed! and also can you specify the species?? and also the females dig to the soil 2-3 inches so make soil 2-4 inches to lay eggs! goodluck and also im not sure of nutrient!
does your hopper look like this?

if its like that it will be a different story! the one i stated above its for grasshoper and not for like this hopper(toothpick grasshopper).


Extinction of the Rocky Mountain Locust

Theodore L. Hopkins, Extinction of the Rocky Mountain Locust, BioScience, Volume 55, Issue 1, January 2005, Pages 80–81, https://doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2005)055[0080:EOTRML]2.0.CO;2

Download citation file:

© 2019 Oxford University Press

Locust: The Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect that Shaped the American Frontier. Jeffery A. Lockwood. Basic Books, New York, 2004. 304 pages, illus. $25.00 (ISBN 0558964312 cloth).

The Rocky Mountain grasshopper, or locust, was a migratory insect that in peak population years spread over the Great Plains from Canada to Texas and periodically devastated the crops of homesteaders and farmers. The mystery began late in the 19th century: Instead of another invasion during the next drought cycle, the locust completely disappeared over the course of a few years, without any apparent cause.

Jeffery Lockwood, professor of natural sciences and humanities at the University of Wyoming, set out to reinvestigate the intriguing disappearance of the Rocky Mountain locust, which he calls “the quintessential ecological mystery of the North American Continent,” when existing extinction theories proved untenable. This popular account of his quest to solve this cold-case mystery is a synthesis of his and his students’ research over several years.

The Rocky Mountain locust was once the most abundant insect on the Great Plains. In years of peak populations, Lockwood calculates, its numbers rivaled bison populations in both biomass and consumption of forage. Before the plains were settled, periodic swarms of migrating locusts were part of the natural rhythm of the grasslands, particularly during years of drought. That situation had changed by the mid-1870s, however, when farmers and ranchers occupied much of the Great Plains. A drought of several years’ duration triggered a massive outbreak of locusts that swept over an immense area, destroying much of the agricultural production and bringing famine to many settlers.

The author recounts several vivid eyewitness accounts of the locust invasion and its aftermath: The swarms of countless flying insects looked like dark storm clouds, and they glittered like snowflakes as they descended out of the sky. They arrived in waves from the more northern regions of the plains during July and August, devouring crops in their path and laying eggs in the soil. The farmers tried desperately to save their crops and to drive the locusts off, but with little success because of the huge numbers of insects. Many families had to abandon their homesteads, and thousands more were threatened by famine, with virtually no food left for themselves or their livestock.

Lockwood’s account encompasses the homestead era and the politics of early disaster relief efforts by private, state, and federal agencies. Some limited aid came from frontier Army supplies and other sources, but not enough to avert catastrophe: Settlement of the plains was threatened, and the Rocky Mountain locust was thought to be the greatest obstacle to farming this region.

To deal with this emergency, three prominent entomologists—Charles Valentine Riley, Cyrus Thomas, and Alpheus Packard—were named by the federal government to the newly formed Entomological Commission. They were charged to gather all available information on the locust and to find practical methods for its control. (Lockwood’s biographical account of Riley, the brilliant but eccentric head of the commission and later the chief entomologist in the US Department of Agriculture, is particularly entertaining. Riley went on to become the nation’s foremost economic entomologist and pioneered the introduction of biological agents for control of introduced pests.) The commission did indeed gather a remarkable amount of detailed information on the ecology, behavior, anatomy, reproduction, and distribution of the locust, and suggested practical ways for the farmers to battle the insects.

Then in the late 1870s, about the time the commission was publishing its work, a wetter climatic cycle brought about a decrease in locust invasions. The locust depradations were expected to rebound in the next drought cycle, but much to the surprise of entomologists, the species disappeared completely. The Rocky Mountain locust is now considered to be extinct.

Several theories to explain the extinction—and one positing that the locust was still alive, masquerading as an extreme migratory form of a common related grasshopper—were put forward over the years, but most have been refuted by Lockwood and other grasshopper specialists through new research and analysis of data. One of the most interesting of these theories was that the ecology of the locust was somehow linked to the great herds of bison, and that the extermination of the latter from most of its range brought about the extinction of the former. These two major and competing grazers had coexisted on the plains for thousands of years, so the idea was advanced that the bison somehow altered the ecology of the grasslands to favor reproduction and survival of the locust. Another theory was that the planting of alfalfa throughout the locust’s breeding area in the latter part of the 19th century could have played a role in the insect’s extinction; alfalfa, which is palatable to grasshoppers, was shown in laboratory studies to be deleterious to the growth of the insect’s immature stages. That the Rocky Mountain locust was a distinct species, and not a migratory form of an extant species, was proved by taxonomic studies on male genitalia and more recently by DNA analysis of specimens recovered from glaciers by Lockwood and his colleagues.

On the basis of a synthesis of the detailed information gathered by the Entomological Commission, settlement records, and other evidence, Lockwood has arrived at a new explanation of the locust’s disappearance, which he calls “my habitat destruction theory.” He maintains that cattle grazing and homesteaders’ cultivation of a restricted region of the plains—the permanent breeding grounds of the insect—during a population recession of the locust in the 1880s may have irreversibly disrupted locust reproduction. Others had shown that grasshopper eggs fail to hatch if the soil they are deposited in is disturbed by plowing or by other means.

The book is replete with odd facts and interesting characters involved in the locust story. (Among them was the Canadian entomologist Norman Criddle, who collected the last live specimens of the Rocky Mountain locust in 1902. He also invented a grasshopper poison bait known as Criddle’s Mixture, composed of horse manure, arsenic, and molasses, that was state of the art in grasshopper control in the early days.) Lockwood works into the book a wide range of information, including the biology of grasshoppers and locusts, the history and politics of the homestead era, and his and his colleagues’ expeditions to remote glaciers in the Rocky Mountains to collect rare specimens of the extinct locust, which had been preserved in ice.

Moreover, this tale of a unique case of extinction of an insect pest that threatened settlement of the Great Plains is written in an entertaining and often humorous style. It should be of wide interest not only to biologists but also to Western historians and the general reading public.


Leaps and Bounds

Few things are more evocative of a hot summer’s day in the country than the rasping chirps of grasshoppers. But the very sound that evokes scenes of relaxation and tranquility for us denotes the most eventful period in the life of the grasshoppers, a time when everything is geared towards outdoing rivals and every minute counts in the quest for a mate.

Grasshoppers, along with groundhoppers, crickets and bush-crickets, belong to the order Orthoptera. Even though they appear superficially similar because they all have large jumping legs, grass- and groundhoppers are easy to tell apart from crickets and bush-crickets. The most obvious difference is that both grasshoppers and groundhoppers have short, fairly stout antennae whereas crickets and bush-crickets have long, hairlike antennae. A second marked difference is that female grass- and groundhoppers do not have a prominent ovipositor, whereas female crickets and bush-crickets are usually in possession of a large, and sometimes rather fearsome-looking, egg-laying apparatus.

There are 11 native species of grasshoppers and 3 species of groundhoppers in Britain. Groundhoppers are the less familiar of the two families because they are not able to produce sounds, are smaller, and lead more secretive lives. All three groundhopper species can be found in the Swansea area, including the rare Cepero’s Groundhopper (Tetrix ceperoi) (photo 1), which has considerably longer wings than its more widespread relative the Common Groundhopper (Tetrix undulata) (photo 2). The Slender Groundhopper (Tetrix subulata) (photo 3), has wings similar in length to those of the Cepero’s Groundhopper, and subtle differences in the shape of the head and distance between the eyes are used to distinguish the two species.

All groundhopper species are beautifully camouflaged and can occur in a wide variety of colours including mottled green, sandy and deep reddish brown. They all like damp areas and can often be found near ponds and streams, where they feed on mosses and algae. The Slender Groundhopper, in particular, is not averse to water and is even able to swim.

A number of grasshoppers also prefer damp habitats, particularly Britain’s largest species, the vividly coloured Large Marsh Grasshopper (Stethophyma grossum), which lives in marshes and bogs and can reach a size of up to 36 mm. It used to be common across Britain, but as a result of widespread land drainage it has now become very rare. As with all grasshoppers, the males (photo 4) are smaller and have longer antennae than the females. The Large Marsh Grasshopper is rather variable in colour, ranging from yellowish-green like the pictured male to olive-brown like the female in photo 5. In addition, females sometimes occur in a bright yellow and pink colour form (photo 6).

Striking pink female colour forms are not exclusive to the rare Large Marsh Grasshopper, they also occur in all four of the most frequently en-countered British grasshopper species. Probably the most familiar of these is the Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus), which can be found in a wide variety of grassy habitats, as long as they are not mown. Neither male nor female Meadow Grasshoppers are able to fly, even though the males have longer wings than the usually short-winged females (photo 7). The pink colour form can be very bright indeed (photo 8).

Males of the Common Green Grasshopper (Omocestus viridulus) (photo 9), the second widespread species, superficially resemble male Meadow Grasshoppers, and both species can be found in similar habitats. However, both male and female (photo 10) Common Green Grasshoppers are able to fly quite well.

The third familiar species, the Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus) (photo 11) is happy living in dryer and more open habitats than the Meadow and Common Green Grasshoppers. The photograph shows two males during a face-off. This can occur when more than one male is courting the same female. In order to determine which male is going to be allowed to continue pursuing the female, the rivals face each other and produce their ‘aggression song’ until the weaker male withdraws.

Before such unpleasantries can ensue, a male will have attracted a female with his ‘normal’ song, switching to a gentler ‘courtship’ song on spotting the female. The female will have replied to the male’s song with a quiet song of her own, encouraging him to approach. Grasshopper songs are very distinctive, and it is often possible to identify a grasshopper by its song alone. In fact, some variable species can be easier to identify by their song than by their appearance.

With its 12 different colour forms, the fourth common British grasshopper, the Mottled Grasshopper (Myrmeleotettix maculatus) (photo 12), is a good example of such a very variable species. The pair in the photograph have progressed from courtship to mating. This can be a drawn out affair during which the male sometimes loses his grip, leaving him in a somewhat precarious, not to mention awkward, position.

Shortly after mating, a female grasshopper gets ready to lay her eggs. A few species, for example the Large Marsh Grasshopper, lay their eggs at the base of grasses because the ground in their habitat is often waterlogged, but most species bury their eggs in the ground, as demonstrated by the rare Heath Grasshopper (Chorthippus vagans) female in photo 13. Female grasshoppers secrete a frothy liquid around their eggs which hardens and provides protection for the eggs during their long rest until the following spring.

When the nymphs first emerge from their eggs they have a strange worm-like appearance. They make their way out of their egg pod and through the soil to the surface in this curious state before shedding their protective embryonic skin and emerging from it as miniature grasshoppers. They then go through a series of moults over a couple of months, growing bigger in size and developing larger wing buds at every moult, before reaching their adult moult at which their wing buds turn into wings. The freshly moulted adult Field Grasshopper in photo 14 is in the process of waiting for its newly expanded wings to harden.

Many British grasshopper species can fly rather well and stalking one can become an interesting experience when, just as it is coming into focus for the perfect photograph, it spots the approaching camera and instead of trying to escape in time-honoured grasshopper fashion, it flies off into the distance. Luckily, in those situations there is usually a rival singing not too far away, quite oblivious to the fact that along with potential mates it is also successfully attracting the occasional entomologist.


Where grasshopper lay eggs quest

Don’t know how to prepare for the test on life cycles? Don’t worry! This page has everything you need to know in order to succeed on the test.

See pictures of Cell Projects by Ms. Johnson’s Class

We will be learning lots about plant cells and animal cells. Students should be able to name the major parts of each and describe their differences.

Animal Cell Plant Cell

The links below show detailed pictures of plant and animal cells. Our students are responsible for knowing the following parts of a cell:

nucleus, cell membrane, cell wall, cytoplasm, chloroplast, vacuole

Cell Inspector – This is a cool game created by the publishers of our text book to help kids get ready to identify cell parts.

X Marks the Spot – This is an interactive cell model that students can use to learn more about each cell part.

Science Lab – Click on cells to observe an onion cell and the model of plant and animal cells.

Read this powerpoint and see how well you do on the quiz. Good Luck!

Here is a fun web quest to help you learn lots about a frog’s lifecycle and care

Print this page out to practice labeling the different stages of a butterfly’s lifecycle

Find information about each stage of the butterfly’s lifecycle.

Print this page out to practice labeling the different stages of a butterfly’s lifecycle

Most animals come from eggs. The eggs are produced by the adult female. Many eggs contain everything needed to form a new animal. Many eggs have a shell or outer covering. The covering keeps the egg from drying out. It also protects the new animal growing inside. Bird eggs have a hard shell. When the animal has grown enough, it breaks out of the egg. This is called hatching. Here you can see how a chicken hatches.

The new chick quickly grows into an adult. The adult female can then lay eggs and the cycle continues.

NOVA – Watch a short video of a chicken embryo.

The grasshopper has three stages of growth. The grasshopper, an insect, begins its life cycle in an egg. After hatching, the young insect is called a nymph. A nymph is like a tiny adult, but it does not have wings. The nymph becomes an adult insect when it has wings and can fly. The adult female grasshopper can lay eggs and the cycle begins again.

Most mammals do not hatch from eggs. The animal grows in a special way in the female’s body. Then they are born live. When the young are born, the mother produces milk to feed them. The babies need a lot of care. The young mammal then grows to be an adult. The adult female can produce a young animal that looks very much like itself. The animal’s life cycle is then complete.


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