BioKIDS home

Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species

grasshoppers and relatives


What do they look like?

The common characteristic of these groups their enlarged back legs that they use for jumping. They all have chewing mouthparts too. Most species have leathery front wings, and use their back wings for flying.

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • female larger

Where do they live?

Species in this group of insects occur on every continent except Antarctica. There are thousands of species in these groups.

What kind of habitat do they need?

These insects occur in just about all the habitats on earth, except in the extreme cold of ice sheets and high mountaintops. There are even some that swim and eat plants underwater!

  • Aquatic Biomes
  • lakes and ponds

How do they grow?

Orthopterans are hemimetabolous. Females lay eggs, and the babies that hatch out are called nymphs. They look a lot like the adults. As they grow they shed their exoskeleton (usually 5 or 6 times). The last time they shed they emerge as adults, and not until then do they have wings. In temperate climates with cold winters, it is usually the egg stage that survives the winter, though a few species survive the winter as nymphs or adults.

How do they reproduce?

  • Parental Investment
  • no parental involvement

How do they behave?

Do they cause problems?

  • Ways that these animals might be a problem for humans
  • crop pest
University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

BioKIDS home  |  Questions?  |  Animal Diversity Web  |  Cybertracker Tools

. "Orthoptera" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed May 25, 2024 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
Copyright © 2002-2024, The Regents of the University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

University of Michigan