Grasshopper vs. Cricket

Grasshopper vs. Cricket

Grasshopper and cricket are types of insects that belong to the order Orthoptera. There are around 11.000 species of grasshopper and more than 900 different crickets. Grasshoppers usually inhabit warm, tropical areas (only few species can be found in temperate regions). Crickets can be found all over the world, except in very cold areas. They are especially numerous in tropics. Grasshoppers and crickets usually inhabit grasslands, meadows, forests, marshes and caves. They have sturdy, cylindrical body, large head, two pairs of wings and very long hind legs designed for jumping. Some grasshoppers and crickets cannot fly (they are wingless). Even though it seems that grasshoppers and crickets are very similar in terms of morphology and life style, these two groups of insects are actually distantly related. Here's the list of major differences between grasshoppers and crickets:

Size and Color

Grasshoppers are larger than crickets. They can reach 4 inches in length, while the largest crickets do not exceed length of 2 inches. Grasshoppers are usually bright green colored to ensure perfect blending with the colors of their environment. Crickets are usually pale green or brown color because of their nocturnal nature (dark-colored body cannot be easily detectable during the night).

Antennas

Crickets have pair of very long antennas on top of the head, while grasshoppers have pair of short antennas.

Locomotion

Most crickets are wingless and they move only by jumping. Most grasshoppers are equipped with wings and they are able both to jump and fly.

Songs

Crickets and grasshoppers can produce chirping noise by using different parts of their body (phenomenon called stridulation). Crickets produce sound by rubbing their wings together, while grasshoppers "sing" by rubbing their long hind legs against wings.

Sense of Hearing

Crickets detect sound by using sensory organs located on the front legs, while grasshoppers use sensory organs located at the base of the abdomen.

Lifestyle

Grasshoppers are active during the day (diurnal animals), while crickets are active at dusk and dawn (crepuscular animals).

Diet

Grasshoppers are herbivores. Their diet is based on various types of grass. Crickets are omnivores. They consume various types of plants, insect eggs, larvae, scale insects and aphids.

Association with Humans

Under very good environmental conditions, grasshoppers can reproduce at very high rate and produce extremely large population which can inflict serious damage to the agricultural fields (many species of grasshoppers are classified as pests). Certain types of grasshoppers are consumed as delicacy in North America and Asia. Crickets are kept as pets in some countries and used as food in Southeast Asia. Crickets are portrayed in the popular cartoons Pinocchio and Mulan, and they are frequently mentioned in poems, novels and children books.

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