I’m a grasshopper
There’s between 11,000 and 18,000 species of grasshoppers worldwide and they’re found everywhere except the North and South Poles. But even though they’re common, they’re also quite fascinating.
Did you know…
~ Grasshoppers have an exoskeleton [ek-soh-skel-i-tn] which means the skeleton is on the outside of their body.
~ They have two sets of wings for flying – a front pair that is tough and rigid and a hind pair that is soft and flexible.
~ The grasshopper has three pairs of very strong legs. They use these to walk and to jump twenty times their own body length. Imagine if you could do that!
~ Grasshoppers have five eyes – two eyes are on the front of the head, two more eyes are located on the end of each antenna and the final eye is between the antennae. It’s no wonder they’re so quick!
~ Grasshoppers don’t have any ears, they actually hear through their knees.
Here’s Something to Chew On
Grasshoppers like to eat most plants, but some favour the flavour of wheat, oats, corn, barley, rye, clover, alfalfa, and cotton – all things we use and farmers hate to loose. In fact, a large group of grasshoppers called locust can quickly and easily devour a farmer’s crop in a matter of minutes.
However, some grasshoppers are actually a help to farmers. The Turnbull will dine on the weeds that kill crops. Other grasshoppers like the Two-Striped grasshopper will eat plants that are toxic to cattle.
~ The largest grasshopper is called the Giant Grasshopper and measures in at 60-90 mm (6-9 inches) for females and 45–55mm (4.5 – 5.5 inches) for males.
~ If you grab a grasshopper you may get “spit” on. This strong, brown, gooey, liquid is called tobacco juice and is used to deter predators.