Grasshoppers: Introduction, Description, Characteristics, Life Cycle, and, Control

Grasshoppers are insects belonging to the suborders Caelifera and Ensifera of the Orthoptera order. To distinguish them from katydids, which have much longer antennae, they are frequently referred to as short-horned grasshoppers (Caelifera) (Ensifera). These insects are hemimetabolous. The three stages of the life cycle—egg, nymph, and adult—complete it. The nymph went through five moults, each time resembling the adult insect more. Some grasshopper species can alter their colour and behaviour as well as create swarms when the population density is high and the environmental circumstances are right. They are referred to as locusts when this occurs. Grasshoppers are plant-eating insects that can occasionally cause major damage to pasture, vegetables, and grains, particularly when they swarm in the millions like locusts and decimate crops over large areas. As a result, they are categorized as mixed and oligophagous feeders (Mulkern 1967). They are crucial ground invertebrates in the grassland ecosystem from a functional standpoint (Scott 1979 and Risser 1981). They frequently serve as the primary invertebrate in the grassland ecosystem’s consumer community and are a key source of food for many predatory species, such as birds (Joern 1986 and Samways 1997). There are 1,750 species of orthoptera recognized in India out of the world’s almost 20,000 species (Tandon and Hazra 1998). The majority of species are tropical, however, they are also widely found in temperate regions. Grasshoppers can occasionally turn into significant pests on field crops, ornamentals, and vegetable crops. The most frequent hosts for these pests are grasses and other herbaceous plants, but after consuming those hosts, grasshoppers frequently switch to eating vegetables, field crops, leaves, or even the sensitive bark of shrubs and trees.

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