Grasshoppers are insects of thesuborder Caelifera within the orderOrthoptera, which includes cricketsand katydids (bush crickets). They are sometimes referred to as short-horned grasshoppers to distinguish them from the katydids, which have much longerantennae. They are probably the oldest living group of chewing herbivorous insects, dating back to the earlyTriassic around 250 million years ago. Grasshoppers are typically ground-dwelling insects with powerful hind legs which enable them to escape from threats by leaping vigorously. They are hemimetabolous insects (they do not undergo complete metamorphosis) which hatch from an egg into a nymphor “hopper” which undergoes fivemoults, becoming more similar to the adult insect at each developmental stage. At high population densities and under certain environmental conditions, some grasshopper species can change colour and behaviour and form swarms. Under these circumstances they are known as locusts.

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Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Orthoptera
  • Suborder: Caelifera


  • Tridactyloidea
  • Tetrigoidea
  • Eumastacoidea
  • Pneumoroidea
  • Pyrgomorphoidea
  • Acridoidea
  • Tanaoceroidea
  • Trigonopterygoidea