I love observing Grasshoppers. They leap, they fly, and they even change color. As you can see from the two photos, Grasshoppers will often change their color to match the surrounding scenery, which can make them very difficult to find. Of course, that is the point.
Grasshoppers evolved over 200 million years ago. They have long strong hind legs made for leaping. They can jump 20 times the length of their body. Their front legs are shorter and used for eating or walking. They also have antennae, which are shorter than their bodies and mandibles to cut and tear food. Grasshoppers do not have ears but they can detect vibrations with tympanic membranes, which are located on the abdomen under their wings. They make sounds by rubbing their hind legs against their wings or abdomen.
Grasshoppers primarily eat grasses, leaves and cereal crops. Their mandibles cut and tear food, but the salivary glands do most of the digestive work by secreting digestive enzymes.
Grasshopper eggs are laid in the Fall and hatch in the Spring. A young Grasshopper will shed its outer “shell” many times as it grows into an adult.