Thursday, 14 August 2014

Grasshoppers getting high on hops – grasshoppers mating

Hops plant is flowering!
I've been watching my Hop Bine for critters. The grasshoppers have moved in. They sit very quietly, and even eat while I am watching.

Off to search for information.
I taught my students to do research using terms such as 'grasshopper + reproduction + cycle", and adding the term: "kids." This would lead them to safe sites. There are no major sites devoted to grasshoppers, unlike some of the more popular and sexy bugs like butterflies and moths! is pretty good, although they have ads.

They have an excellent large body diagram of the various parts of the grasshopper.


"Back off, woman!"
 –says this compound eye!
I was curious about my grasshopper, who was happily spending all her time on my Hops, while the caterpillars, ants and all wandered around her. They are all over my garden, not eating enough to harm anything. I was really curious when she found a mate, and they spent hours with their abdomen locked end-to-end.

The New World Encyclopedia had some reliable information. Remember going to these on school library shelves? Teaching kids to take notes, writing a paragraph? Flipping through those large books, getting distracted by the wealth of information, the photos of other, interesting topics. Oh, the good, old days!

Life cycle

Grasshoppers develop by incomplete metamorphosis, a process in which the larvae resembles the adults somewhat, as they have compound eyes, developed legs and wing stubs visible on the outside, but the juvenile forms are smaller and, assuming the adult has wings, lack wings. In this mode of development, which involves gradual change, there are three distinct stages: The egg, nymph, and the adult stage, or imago.
An interesting exoskeleton
The male deposits a sperm package into her, although it seemed to take a long time! I set up the videocam and walked away. Eventually, she deposits the fertilized egg pod 1" to 2"
Here you can see her ovipositors
underground. They have a three-cycle system: eggs, larvae (a grasshopper that cannot fly) then the adult and they live about a year. The larvae goes through 5 instars, or molts, until it becomes an adult and had a reproductive system.

Related species

There are related species, including katydids, crickets, locusts, etc., I think the locusts give this family a bad rap. Most are vegeterians!

Caelifera and Ensifera are the only two suborders in Orthoptera. Members of the family Tettigoniidae are commonly known as bush crickets or katydids, and are closely related to the crickets, which are also members of Ensifera, but are not included with the grasshoppers. Caelifera includes the locusts, which are the migratory members of the familyAcrididae. Members of both Caelifera and Ensifera are primarily herbivorous species, but Ensifera includes a few carnivorous species.


Did katy?
katydid on the milkweed

Grasshopper gets lucky from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
I spotted a pair of Grasshoppers mating on my railing. I couldn't believe how long they were intertwined! The raw video ran about 5 minutes, but I sped it up.


EG CameraGirl said...

Love the name of your Vimeo! :)

EG CameraGirl said...

Love the name of your Vimeo! :)

Christine said...

Thanks for the study!

Christine said...

Thanks for the study!

Red said...

Grass hoppers in the west are serious business. Unfortunately many harmful pesticides were used and many other species harmed.

William Kendall said...

Grasshoppers getting lucky? Oh my!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Thanks for the grasshopper education! :)

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I love all your critter posts but am as fascinated by bugs as you are and grasshoppers are one of my all-time faves! Great posts again...and oh yeah, the book search...I still do a lot of that too; and can get as easily sidetracked in the online equivalent!!! YAM xx