Where grasshopper lay eggs uae

Where grasshopper lay eggs uae

  • 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.


Script 32.2

Those of you who are troubled by locusts and grasshoppers on your farms should know that there are many methods of locust and grasshopper control that are cheaper and safer than chemical pesticides. Experiment with a combination of techniques to find out which work best on your farm.

Both locusts and grasshoppers can damage crops. When grasshoppers move into your fields, they usually stay, eating a lot of your crops every year. Locusts look the same as grasshoppers and sometimes act the same too. However, at other times, locusts get together in large groups called “swarms”. Then they travel long distances, eating everything in their path. When locusts swarm, it is almost impossible for individual farmers to control them. Often, they need help from the government or other organizations.

Here’s the good news. There are simple techniques you can use to control grasshoppers and non swarming locusts. Remember, when locusts aren’t in a large swarm, they act like grasshoppers, so you use the same techniques to control them that you use for grasshoppers.

Here is a simple way to reduce grasshoppers in your fields. With just a hoe, you can reduce the number of grasshoppers by eighty to ninety per cent.

Start by observing when and where the female locusts and grasshoppers lay their eggs. You will know they are laying their eggs when you see them pushing their bodies into the ground. Grasshoppers and locusts lay their eggs in pods. That is, they lay about 50 eggs in a hole 5 centimetres below the ground, and cover them with a foam that looks like a sponge you use for washing.

When you find the eggs, mark the spots so that you can find them again. Then, when you go back, all you need to do is dig up the eggs from the different spots. If there are too many egg pods to dig up with just a hoe, you can use a plow to bring the eggs to the surface. However, plowing also makes your soil more vulnerable to erosion, so only do this when you really need to.

Spread the eggs out on the ground so that they are exposed to the air. That way, the eggs will dry up or birds will come and have a feast! It’s best to do this on a hot, dry day so the eggs dry up quickly. Or, feed the grasshopper and locust eggs to your poultry. Make sure that your neighbours know about this technique too! Otherwise, the grasshoppers will just move back into your fields from your neighbours’ fields.

Locusts and grasshoppers make a tasty meal for ducks, guinea fowl and chickens! So keep ducks, guinea fowl and chickens on your farm to reduce the number of grasshoppers and locusts. If you don’t have poultry, maybe you can borrow some from your neighbour.

The more ducks and chickens you have on your farm, the more grasshoppers and locusts they will eat. So, try this idea. Gather all the poultry in your community in one field. After, they have eaten the grasshoppers and locusts there, put them in the next field. And so on. Keep doing this until the poultry have been in each field. This way, each field will have fewer locusts and grasshoppers because of hungry poultry. In China, they have used groups of more than 70,000 ducks and chickens to help control locust invasions.

The great thing is that guinea fowl, chickens and ducks also eat other pests. Fat poultry, fewer grasshoppers, locusts and other pests, what else can a farmer ask for!

Sometimes you can distract grasshoppers and locusts from eating your crops by growing different plants around the edge of your fields. For example, plant marigolds. Grasshoppers like to eat marigolds so they leave your crops alone. Also, when the grasshoppers are eating the marigolds, you can spray them with an insecticide, preferably a natural one. Marigolds also repel other insect pests, including nematodes and whiteflies.

Grasshoppers are also repelled by some crops too, so you can plant a crop around your fields which the grasshoppers don’t like. For example, grasshoppers don’t like sorghum as much as maize and millet. So, plant sorghum around your fields of millet and maize to discourage grasshoppers and locusts from entering your fields.

Planting trees and shrubs may also discourage grasshoppers and locusts from laying eggs. In China and Cyprus, they have planted trees and shrubs to help manage their locust and grasshopper problems. They planted them on the borders of their fields, on the shores of rivers and lakes, on barren lands, old river beds, sandy lands or dunes, flood plains and other places where locusts breed. Besides discouraging locusts from staying and laying their eggs, these trees, shrubs and flowering plants shelter birds, parasitic wasps and other natural enemies of locusts and grasshoppers. So plant trees, shrubs, and flowering plants to discourage grasshoppers and locusts and encourage their natural enemies.

Grasshoppers and locusts like areas with some vegetation but not too much. Having a permanent cover on the soil discourages grasshoppers and locusts from laying eggs. It also makes it harder for the hatched locusts to emerge from the soil.

If you can’t plant trees, try the opposite strategy. Grasshoppers also do not like bare ground. In the Sahel, farmers leave a strip of bare ground, about 2 to 3 metres wide, around their fields to discourage grasshoppers from coming into their fields. So, if you can’t grow some good permanent cover around your fields, try the opposite. Farmers in the Sahel also keep their fields clean of weeds to control locusts. Remember that bare ground is vulnerable to soil erosion, so be careful.

Spread out some food, such as bran, that grasshoppers and locusts like to eat and spray that food with neem or another natural insecticide. When the locusts or grasshoppers eat the food, they are poisoned. You can make the trap even more attractive by adding a little molasses to the food.

For a small field or garden, make a trap with a bucket or jar. Fill the jar or bucket half full with water and add a little molasses or something else sweet. Or use a bucket with a light over it. Place a few of these buckets wherever you find the most grasshoppers or locusts. The grasshoppers are attracted by the bait or light and fall into the bucket or jar. These traps can be made more effective by pouring a thin film of kerosene on top of the water. The kerosene prevents the insects from escaping. However, if you use kerosene, don’t feed the insects to your poultry!

You can also use piles of straw as traps. Grasshoppers often move to the edge of the field at night and will shelter in the straw because it is warmer. Knowing where they are that night, you can easily spray them with a natural insecticide. You can also burn the straw, although this way you won’t have the straw for the next night.

If a swarm of locusts is heading your way, there is not much you can do by yourself. Here’s one technique that your community can use in cases where immature locusts travel together in marching bands. Use barriers to direct locusts into pits. The trick is to guess where the locusts are going and then to put the barriers and trenches in their path. The barriers should be 33 to 45 cm high and can be made of fabric, wood or other materials. Place the barriers so that the locusts are directed towards the pits. The pits should be at least 40 cm deep, 1 metre wide and have vertical walls. When there are many locusts in the pits, you can burn them or bury them. During years when there are lots of grasshoppers, you can plant crops that locusts and grasshoppers don’t like such as: potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, peanuts, beans, cotton, sesame, and green manure crops.

People in Africa, South America and other areas eat locusts and grasshoppers as food. For example, some Mauritanian pastoralists kill locusts for both food and medicine. They grind them into a powder to eat. They believe that since locusts eat all trees, they must be the cure for all diseases, since there is a tree to cure every sickness.

For grasshoppers, you can probably ask your neighbours and nearby communities. If they do spray, tell them about some of the methods mentioned here and suggest they try them. Then, later, all of you will have a valuable source of food.

Integrated pest management of locusts, grasshoppers and other pests requires thought, observation, and experimentation. However, there are many advantages.

  1. Many of these techniques will help control other crop pests. As you learn what works best to protect your crops, you will be developing a system that will work against all your pests. The best part is that your integrated pest management system will last for a long time. You can tell your children about it and they will tell their children and so on.
  2. Using fewer chemicals means healthier soil with more helpful insects and less money spent on harmful chemicals.
  3. When free of pesticides, locusts and grasshoppers are good food for your chickens or yourselves.


Grasshoppers and Crickets (Order: Orthoptera)

Locusts (like this solitary-phase Schistocerca gregaria) are perhaps the most well-known of the grasshoppers and crickets.
Photograph by Christiaan Kooyman.

One of the commonest questions asked about grasshoppers and crickets is how to tell them apart. There are a number of ways to tell if you’re looking at a grasshopper or cricket:

  • The main difference between a grasshopper and a cricket is that crickets tend to have long antennae, grasshoppers have short antennae.
  • Crickets str >

Grasshoppers have short antennae in comparison to crickets.

Crickets, like this bush-cricket, have long antennae.

Distinguishing features

Once you’ve seen a cricket or grasshopper, you’ll always be able to recognise them – they have sturdy looking bodies and large heads, and the pronotum (the region just behind the head) is large and saddle-shaped.

In both crickets and grasshoppers, the hind legs are large in proportion to their bodies, and this enables them to jump really long distances. If you see a grasshopper in the grass, just try to touch it and you will see how well it can jump. Some entomologists have suggested that the name Orthoptera should be changed to Saltatoria, from the Greek ‘saltare‘, meaning ‘to leap’. Their back legs are described as saltatorial.

The front wings of the Orthoptera (the word comes from the Greek ‘ortho‘ meaning ‘straight’ or rigid, and ‘ptera‘ meaning wings) look somewhat ‘leathery’, and the hind wings are clear. This feature is also found in the cockroaches and mantids.

These insects go through incomplete metamorphosis (i.e. egg, nymphs, adult, without a pupal stage).


Most Orthoptera live in the tropics, and there are around 18,000 species of them. Around 700 of these are found in Europe – mainly in the south – and only 30 species live in Britain. Their preference for warmer weather is also seen in the fact that only around half a dozen species are found as far north as Scotland.

Many orthopterans are flightless, and most are not good fliers, but some, such as the locusts, are famously able to fly in pursuit of food.

One noticeable feature of this order of insects is their ability to ‘sing’ by rubbing one part of their body against another. This noise is known as stridulation. The parts that are rubbed together are called the file and the scraper. The file has little ridges, so the effect is rather like rubbing a comb along a piece of card.

Grasshopper species can often be identified more easily by their chirping song than by examining them.

It is normally the males that stridulate, though females do it too but more quietly. When there are females about the males break into a courtship song that is different from their usual one.

Orthopteran families

There are seven European families of Orthoptera.

The Mole Cricket (Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa) may be extinct in the UK and has been made a priority for conservation under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP).

The Mole Crickets (Gryllotalpidae)

This is represented in Britain by the Common Mole Cricket (Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa) which despite its name is very rare here! It is a large insect (35mm or longer) with enormous front legs that are described as fossorial (adapted for digging). With a name like mole cricket, you can imagine that this is an insect that likes to burrow in the soil, especially damp soil.

The common mole cricket lays around 300 eggs underground and the nymphs when they hatch eat plant roots and insect grubs.

The True Crickets (Gryllidae)

The commonest member of this family in many parts of Europe is the House Cricket (Acheta domesticus). This is a native of Africa which has spread to Europe. The house cricket is found in kitchens and bakeries and other places where it is especially warm – including on rubbish dumps, where fermenting rubbish gives off warmth.

Because members of this family hold their wings flat over the body, rather than vertically, they appear more flattened than the other grasshoppers and crickets.

The house cricket is a good flier. Britain has two native true crickets – the Field Cricket (Gryllus campestris) and the Wood Cricket (Nemobius sylvestris). These are daytime insects, unlike many crickets, but they are rare and are only found in the south of England.

House Cricket (Acheta domesticus).

Bush-crickets (Tettigoniidae)

There are ten British species of bush-cricket, only 5 of which can fly. The Great Green Bush-cricket (Tettigonia viridissima) can fly very well. Bush-crickets tend to become active in late afternoon and continue singing late into the night.

The Oak Bush-cricket (Meconema thalassinum) is often attracted to light close to trees and is one of the commonest species. It is interesting in that it has no song – instead, the males of this species attract females by stamping their feet very loudly on a leaf!

Bush-crickets mostly eat animal matter, but they do eat vegetable matter as well, and one or two foreign species are completely herbivorous.

Cave Crickets (Rhaphidophoridae)

There are no British species of this family but they are represented in Britain by the Greenhouse Camel Cricket (Tachycines asynamorus) which is an Asian species sometimes found in heated greenhouses. This is a family of wingless, somewhat hump-backed insects with very long antennae.

Grasshoppers (Acrididae)

There are eleven grasshoppers in Britain, all but one of them able to fly. The one that can’t is called the Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus) whose hind wings are stunted (or vestigial).

The different species of grasshopper tend to like different habitats. The Large Marsh Grasshopper (Stethophyma grossum) for example is only found on peat bogs. The Meadow Grasshopper, however, is much less fussy and likes any grassland that is not too dry; it is our most abundant grasshopper.

The field grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus) is one of the commonest species in the UK.

All the grasshoppers are herbivores, mostly feeding on grasses. They lay their eggs in groups of about a dozen just under the soil or at the base of clumps of grass. The female grasshopper covers them with a frothy substance that soon hardens into a protective covering that protects them over winter. They hatch in the spring, and the young grasshoppers may be seen leaping around in May and June.

Locusts are a type of grasshopper. They are large and are strong fliers. Sometimes their populations explode, and they travel in huge swarms looking for food, causing huge damage to the crops that man has conveniently grown for them on the way! There are a few species of locusts in the Middle East that find their way to Europe, and the Migratory Locust (Locusta migratoria) lives in northern Europe, though it doesn’t often build up into huge numbers there.

Groundhoppers (Tetrigidae)

These insects look like small grasshoppers but their pronotum extends back to cover the abdomen, and the forewings are reduced to small scales. The Common Groundhopper (Tetrix undulata) cannot fly, but most groundhoppers can fly well, because of their well developed hind wings.

There are three British species of groundhopper. They can be found where there is less grass than would suit the grasshoppers, and are often found close to ponds and streams. In fact, many of them are good swimmers! Groundhoppers mainly eat mosses and algae, and they survive the winter as young nymphs.

Pigmy Mole Crickets (Tridactylidae)

There are no British pygmy mole crickets but there are a small number of rare species in Europe. They are small insects that burrow in sandy soil.

Obtaining grasshoppers and crickets

Grasshoppers and crickets are not hard to catch, either in a net or by persuading them to jump directly into a container. They are easy to keep alive in large glass or Perspex containers such as old fish tanks or a terrarium. Some sand in the bottom will provide somewhere for them to lay eggs, grass will keep grasshoppers happy and a few aphids now and again will please crickets. The AES provides a caresheet for crickets.

Orthoptera do not keep their colours well after death, so a museum style reference collection of Orthoptera is mostly best kept only if you want to study them seriously.

Notes on the Jerusalem Cricket

The AES is often contacted about the Jerusalem Cricket. Although it is not found in the UK we have provided this information.

The “Child of the Ground” or “Child of the Earth” is actually a type of Cricket called a Jerusalem Cricket (Stenopelmatus fuscus). Adults are 30-50mm long, with a humped-back and long antennae. They are wingless and have shiny brown bodies with dark brown bands on abdomen. They eat other insects, plant roots, decaying vegetation, and potato tubers. They are not posionous and harmless although they may bite if handled roughly.

Jerusalem Cricket live on hill-sides, valley slopes and under rocks from Nebraska to New Mexico & Mexico, north along the pacific coast to Washington and east to Montana.


This Israeli start-up is breeding grasshoppers to fight famine

In the spring of 2013, terrifying swarms of almost a million locusts descended upon Israel and Egypt, turning the sky black, attacking the green crops and devouring everything in their paths.

One small grasshopper flew further north than most and landed on the doorstep of Israeli entrepreneur Dror Tamir. Two years on, together with two other founders and a team of experts, Tamir has turned the humble insect into a fully fledged start up—Steak TzarTzar—which grows grasshoppers for human consumption. One of the ways that the start up intends to use this food source is to tackle the problem of malnutrition and hunger in parts of the developing world.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) estimates that approximately 805 million people suffered from chronic undernourishment in 2012-2014—the equivalent of every ninth person on the planet. One of the most prevalent causes of malnutrition is a basic lack of calories and protein, which often leads to stunted growth, higher susceptibility to disease, wasting away and death. But Steak TzarTzar founders say their grasshoppers offer a way to provide more protein to populations at risk.

Stemming from the same family as shrimp, the meaty texture of a grasshopper has “an amazing nutritional content,” Tamir tells Quartz. Grasshoppers contain significant amounts of protein, with only 6-7% fat.

“No cholesterol, no saturated fat, no lactose,” says Tamir. “It’s a real super food.”

Insects have been consumed by humans for millennia and are even mentioned in the Bible, where John the Baptist is described as feasting on “locusts and wild honey” (Mark 1:6).

In fact, a 2013 UN FAO study, entitled “Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security” (pdf) notes that “insects form part of the traditional diets of at least 2 billion people”, with “more than 1,900 species” reportedly consumed as food.

Insect farming is also more environmentally-friendly than cattle farming because insects produce significantly less greenhouse gasses. The FAO study notes that these same qualities can make insect-based foods an excellent meal option in unstable areas with high food insecurity: “Because of their nutritional composition, accessibility, simple rearing techniques and quick growth rates, insects can offer a cheap and efficient opportunity to counter nutritional insecurity by providing emergency food and by improving livelihoods and the quality of traditional diets among vulnerable people.”

Equally importantly, grasshoppers are not just considered edible, but a delicacy, across Africa and parts of Asia, the Middle East and South America.

“Sometimes, I see children in East Africa eating them out of the bag like sweets,” says Tamir.

The demand for grasshoppers is already high. In Uganda, during the high season, the lowest price for 1kg (2.2 lb) bag of grasshoppers is $8—but one month later when the rainy season begins, typically around May and November, the price soars to $50, says Tamir. This is due to the fact that, ordinarily, the insects are only available for just over one month every year.

This is the problem that Steak TzarTzar decided to tackle. Through a system of greenhouses, they are designing the optimal conditions in which to breed grasshoppers all year round. They are also experimenting with different species of the sprightly insect to determine which will be most nutritious.

In nature, the period from laying the eggs to hatching can take anywhere from four to nine months, or in some cases even several years. But Steak TzarTzar has devised a way to shorten this to just 10 days. The process entails a near round-the-clock supervision at farming facilities in northern Israel, run by Chanan Aviv, a co-founder of the company, who has been researching the way insects can help people lead better and more sustainable lives for years.

“I think it’s the most beautiful creature on earth,” Aviv says of the grasshopper, to Quartz. “It can survive in environments where even humans cannot even dream of surviving. So I thought why not cover the world with insects that people can eat, can make materials from them, can make a living from. And if there are places where people are hungry for protein, why not give them a very good solution—a unique solution.”

For the past two years, not only has Aviv been breeding insects—he himself has also been eating them as his exclusive source of protein. Contrary to the typical Mediterranean diet of vegetables and meat typically enjoyed in Israel, his unconventional diet includes mealworms—a source of Omega-3, protein, vitamins and minerals—and grasshoppers.

“I cook them in a pan with boiled water for 20 minutes. Then I roast them in a pan with a bit of oil and salt and I like it very much!” he tells Quartz.

Several months ago, the company held a taste test with five different grasshopper species, cooked in a variety of different styles.

The traditional east African method involves first plucking the legs and the wings, then frying the grasshopper in a bit of oil and salt. “It looks, tastes and smells like red mullet,” says Tamir.

The Japanese method, says Steak TzarTzar’s founders, involves boiling the creatures in hot water for 20 minutes, then plucking the wings and the legs, and frying the body in soy sauce, sake and sugar, served on rice.

Of course, deep frying the insect and serving it crispy is a universal favorite. The possibilities for recipes are endless, says Tamir. At the end of the meal, the green grasshopper was declared the unanimous winner.

Now the company is working to establish its first commercial-scale centre in Kenya. Its founders are also considering funnelling some of the revenues from selling grasshopper protein powder in the West in order to subsidise the cost of growing grasshoppers in Africa, and plan to run future farming facilities in collaboration with local farmers.


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