|Order Orthoptera - Crickets, Grasshoppers & Katydids|
Order name is from from Greek 'straight wing'
Live adult and immature Orthoptera specimens photographed in the wild at North American locations.
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Two-striped Grasshopper - Melanoplus bivittatus. This is a gravid female.
There are more than 20,000 species in the order Orthoptera. These diverse insects are found worldwide, although their numbers are concentrated in the tropics. They vary in size from less than 5mm to monster-big grasshoppers over 4 inches long, with 10-inch wingspans. Orthopterans are some of the most common insects in many landscapes, and the order includes some of the most destructive agricultural pests in the locusts and katydids. Most eat plants, but some species are omnivorous.
Females typically lay clutches of eggs either in the ground or on vegetation. Grasshoppers, crickets and katydids are all well-known for their jumping ability as well as the singing performed by the males (females are generally silent.) Grasshoppers are almost all active in the daytime, but crickets are nocturnal. Katydids are thought to be nocturnal, but I see an awful lot of them out and about when the sun is shining. There are few places on earth where the calls of these intriguing insects are not heard nearly constantly during the warm months.
The first fossil records of the order appear in the upper Carboniferous, or Pennsylvanian era, 310 - 290 million years ago.
Striped Ground Cricket - Allonemobius fasciatus
Hooded Grouse Locust
Crackling Forest Grasshopper
Orthoptera metamorphosis is hemimetabolous, paurometabolous; that is, a simple, gradual metamorphosis wherein the juveniles are correctly termed nymphs, having similar appearance to the adults; they achieve sexual maturity and full wing structure at the final molt. They share this form of metamorphosis with the Hemiptera (true bugs).
Scudder's Bush Katydid
Say's Trig Cricket
Two-Spotted Tree Cricket
Alpine grasshopper found at 6500 ft. in the Rocky Mountains. Melanoplus alpinus
Order Orthoptera - Crickets, Grasshoppers & Katydids
There are more than 20,000 species in the order Orthoptera. These diverse insects are found worldwide, although their numbers are concentrated in the tropics.
North American Insects & Spiders
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