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17 Types of Grasshoppers: Species, Facts and Photos

Grasshoppers, famous for their elongated, green bodies and powerful hind legs, exhibit astounding diversity throughout their thousands of species. In this article, we'll explore the various types of grasshoppers, each with its own unique characteristics and habitats. Hop in, and let’s discover 17 species of this insect family.

Related read: Biggest Insects In The World.

Grasshopper Classification

Grasshoppers are an incredibly diverse group of insects, with over 11,000 species. They belong to the Orthoptera order, which includes two prominent families: Acrididae (Short-horned grasshoppers) and Tettigoniidae (long-horned grasshoppers or bush crickets). 

The former has the most commonly encountered grasshoppers, comprising most of the total species. Meanwhile, the pygmy grasshopper family has relatively few species, numbering 2,000. Besides pygmy grasshoppers, they also go by “groundhoppers” or “pygmy devils.” 

Moreover, they are prehistoric creatures, regarded as ancient chewing herbivorous insects. They come in various colors and sizes, with large compound eyes and antennae that can pick up the tiniest sensory inputs. 

While most grasshoppers are not endangered, their habitats change due to climate change and urban development. As of this writing, IUCN declared two extinct, 30 critically endangered, and 62 endangered species in the Acrididae family.

Read more: Grasshopper Facts,

17 Types of Grasshopper Species

1. Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis)

Differential Grasshopper
Photo by Melissa McMasters on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The Differential Grasshopper is a commonly found creature across North America belonging to the Acrididae family. These grasshoppers typically move around open habitats such as grasslands, fields, and gardens.

It appears in shades of green or yellow, with a black herringbone pattern on its hind femora. It spits a brown liquid for defense when it senses danger. During mating season, it forms groups and communicates through visual signals and vibrations. 

2. Red-Legged Grasshopper (Melanoplus femurrubrum)

Red-Legged Grasshopper
Photo by Christina Butler on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The Red-Legged Grasshopper is a species of grasshopper commonly found in North America. They feed on plants and insects, and females lay eggs in the soil during late summer.

Its hind limbs are red, and the males are smaller than the female grasshoppers. Male Red-Legged Grasshoppers communicate with females by rubbing their hind legs against their wings. 

3. Two-striped Grasshopper (Melanoplus bivittatus)

 Two-striped Grasshopper
Photo by Ryan Hodnett on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original).

The Two-Striped Grasshopper lives in North America's grasslands, meadows, and agricultural fields. These creatures have yellow or white stripes on their body, but not every grasshopper exhibits these stripes. 

Besides their appearance, they are famous for their insatiable appetite, which can cause problems during population surges. They eat grasses, flowers, leaves, and even some toxic plants. 

Despite their pest status, they play a crucial role in the ecosystem as a food source for birds, rodents, and larger insects.

4. Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera)

Eastern Lubber GrasshopperPhoto by Judy Gallagher on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original).
Photo by Judy Gallagher on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original).

The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is native to the southeastern and south-central regions of the United States. This colorful grasshopper can come in a combination of yellow and black hues.

It is large, with conspicuous colors, and cannot fly. Females are generally larger than males. 

This grasshopper is slow and clumsy but can use its hind legs to move short distances when necessary. When threatened, it can release a foul-smelling froth and flash its bright wings to startle potential threats. 

The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper feeds on various leaves, flowers, and fruits from different plants, making them a nuisance in agricultural areas.

5. American Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca americana)

 American Bird Grasshopper
Photo by Christina Butler on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The American Bird Grasshopper inhabits various habitats in the Eastern and Central regions of the United States. It is 1.5 to 2 inches in size and has a brown or grayish-brown body color to blend with its surroundings. 

This type of grasshopper is diurnal and feeds mainly on leaves, flowers, seeds, and stems.

6. Spur-throated grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes)

Spur-throated grasshopper
Photo by Andrew C on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The Spur-Throated Grasshopper, also called the Migratory Grasshopper, is a herbivorous insect in North America. It is a primarily green and brown grasshopper with occasional yellow accents and measures 1 to 1.5 inches. 

They live in open habitats and feed on grasses and forbs but become agricultural pests during population booms. 

Although they can cause significant damage, they are part of the food chain as a food source for various wildlife, contributing to decomposition in death.

7. Carolina Grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina)

Carolina Grasshopper
Photo by Ryan Hodnett on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original).

The Carolina Grasshopper is a large insect species native to North America, found in open, dry areas such as fields, beaches, and roadsides. They have distinctive black hind wings that contrast against their light brown or gray bodies.

Moreover, they perform a low, fluttering flight with a crackling or buzzing sound. 

Carolina Grasshoppers are solitary creatures but will gather in large numbers under certain habitat conditions. They feed on grasses and forbs. In turn, they are an essential part of the diet of many birds and small mammals.

8. Obscure Bird Grasshopper (Oedaleonotus enigma)

Obscure Bird Grasshopper
Photo by Minnehaha850 on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original).

The Obscure Bird Grasshopper is a member of the Acrididae family. It has a green or brown body and a pale stripe. Their name indicates no relation to birds but the insect's size and flying capabilities. Adults can reach a length of up to 2.4 in. 

This type of grasshopper lives in various environments, such as open woodlands, grasslands, and agricultural fields. It is an abundant grasshopper across the southern parts of the United States to Costa Rica. 

It is usually a solitary creature and feeds on various plants, including grasses, herbs, shrubs, and occasionally small insects. 

Although these bird grasshoppers are not traditionally considered pests, they can cause damage to crops when they gather in large numbers. Interestingly, their population can increase significantly after periods of high rainfall. So, farmers should be aware of this species and its behavior.

9. Clear-winged grasshopper (Camnula pellucida)

Clear-winged grasshopper
Photo by Ryan Hodnett on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original).

The Clear-Winged Grasshopper is a North American species that lives in open fields, meadows, and prairies. It has transparent wings that can span up to 35mm, providing it with natural camouflage. 

Moreover, it feeds on grasses and crops, which can sometimes cause damage to farms. 

During mating, the grasshopper's ability to fly long distances helps it find suitable breeding grounds. The female lays eggs in the soil, and the next generation emerges in the spring.

10. Band-Winged Grasshopper (Oedipodinae)

Band-Winged Grasshopper
Photo by Bernard DUPONT on Flickr licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The Band-Winged Grasshopper is a grasshopper species displaying striking bands on its wings. Its vibrant colors are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. 

When the grasshoppers take flight, they create a crackling noise called 'crepitation.' This noise is a way of communication between them and might even be part of their mating ritual. 

These grasshoppers live in various habitats, such as green meadows, grasslands, and desert environments. They feed on grasses and forbs or alternate plant materials when food is scarce. 

The grasshopper's strong hind legs assist in facilitating their hopping and take-off. While they are typically loners, they can sometimes form large swarms.

11. Striped Horse Grasshopper (Hippiscus ocelote)

The Striped Horse Grasshopper is a large insect in North America's grasslands. It has black and yellow stripes that deter potential threats and help it blend in with the surroundings. 

The grasshopper feeds on grasses, forbs, and crops; farmers might consider them pests. It begins its life cycle as an egg buried in the soil and goes through five stages of growth before becoming an adult.

12. Green Grass Pyrgomorph (Atractomorpha lata)

 Green Grass Pyrgomorph
Photo by Laitche on Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

The Green Grass Pyrgomorph lives across the green areas of China, India, and Japan. It has strong back legs that allow it to jump long distances and is an herbivore with a broad diet. However, it can cause significant crop damage.

13. Giant Green Slantface (Acrida conica)

 Giant Green Slantface
Photo by Quartl on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original).

The Giant Green Slantface inhabits grasslands, savannahs, and other open habitats in Africa, Asia, and Australia. This green grasshopper blends in with its surroundings and avoids predation. 

It is one of the larger grasshopper species, growing around 2.5 inches long. Its facial structure is unique, with a slanting angle that adds to its striking appearance. 

The grasshopper also possesses elongated antennae that serve as a form of GPS, enabling it to navigate its environment. Its powerful hind legs allow it to escape danger with swift leaps. This species leads a solitary life, feeding on the leaves and stems of various plant species.

14. Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium)

Egyptian Grasshopper
Photo by Bernard DUPONT on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The Egyptian Grasshopper is a large insect in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Africa. They can adapt to various habitats and feed on leaves, flowers, and crops. 

Likewise, they live solitary lives and come together only for mating during spring. After mating, females lay their eggs in the soil, which hatch into nymphs. The nymphs undergo several molts over a year before reaching adulthood. 

Egyptian Grasshoppers also use their hind legs for the initial jump before spreading their wings and taking to the skies.

15. Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus)

Meadow Grasshopper
Photo by Charles J. Sharp on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original).

The Meadow Grasshoppers thrive in the lush landscapes of Europe and Asia. They are small, short-winged creatures that blend perfectly into their grassy habitats. 

Males have a brown stripe on their sides, while the females are bright green. These ground-dwellers can grow up to an inch. Their small wings are not designed for flight, but they can leap up to 20 times their body length to escape predators.

During the summer, the males use their hind legs to create a distinct chirping sound to attract females.

16. Lesser Marsh Grasshopper (Chorthippus albomarginatus)

Lesser Marsh Grasshopper
Photo by Orangeaurochs on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The Lesser Marsh Grasshopper lives in Europe and Asia. They are active during the day, with adult grasshoppers becoming more visible towards the end of summer, identifiable by their high-pitched clicks. 

Male and female Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers differ in coloration; males have a cream-white hue on their lower abdomen, and females have a vibrant green color. These grasshoppers can change color to a deep black in colder climates.

17. Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria)

Desert Locust
Photo by Adam Matan on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original).

Desert locusts are large insects with broad wings and a cylindrical body. As their name implies, their habitat spans desert regions where they feast primarily on leaves, flowers, and crops. 

The real danger arises when these solitary creatures transform into gregarious and mobile swarms, leading to devastating plagues that can wipe out agriculture across vast regions. It is 

These types of grasshoppers tend to swarm when the population reaches a saturation point1. Understanding the lifestyle and impact of these serious pests is crucial to mitigating their destructive capacity.

1

Sword, G. A., Lecoq, M., & Simpson, S. J. (2010). Phase polyphenism and preventative locust management. Journal of Insect Physiology, 56(8), 949-957.

By Mike Gomez, BA.

Mike is a degree-qualified researcher and writer passionate about increasing global awareness about climate change and encouraging people to act collectively in resolving these issues.

Fact Checked By:
Isabela Sedano, BEng.

Photo by Mesh on Unsplash.
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