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ORTHOPTERA -- <Images> & <Juveniles> [Latest Classification]


Please refer also to the following links for details on this group:


ORTHOPTERA = Photos-1, Photos-2


Most Orthoptera are not very specialized in food habits. The name is derived from the Greek ortho meaning straight and ptera meaning winged. Although many species have been found to prey on other insects, only the Mantidae are obligate predators. There is a strong tendency toward cannibalism in many families, and feeding on animal supplements plant food (Clausen 1940/62).


The order has paurometabolous or incomplete metamorphosis. Included are the grasshoppers, crickets and locusts. Many species in this order produce sound (= stridulation) by rubbing their wings or legs together,. The wings or legs may contain rows of corrugated rises. The tympanum or ear is located in the front tibia in crickets, mole crickets, and katydids, and on the first abdominal segment in the grasshoppers and locusts. These organisms use vibrations to locate others of their own species.


Grasshoppers are capable of folding their wings, placing them in the group Neoptera.


The body design is generally cylindrical, with the hind legs being elongated for jumping. They have mandibulate mouthparts and large compound eye. The presence of ocelli varies with the species. The antennae have multiple joints, and vary in length.


The first and third thoracic segments are enlarged, while the second segment is a lot shorter. They have two pairs of wings, which are overlap the abdomen when at rest. The forewings, or tegmina, are narrower than the hindwings and hardened at their bases, while the hind wing is membranous, with straight veins and many cross-veins. At rest, the hindwings are held folded fan-like under the forewings. The final two to three segments of the abdomen are smaller, and have cerci of only one segment.

Life cycle


Orthoptera have a paurometabolous life cycle or incomplete metamorphosis. The use of sound is usually important in courtship, and most species produce distinct songs. Most grasshoppers lay their eggs in the ground or on vegetation. The eggs hatch and the young nymphs resemble adults but lack wings. At this stage they are sometimes referred to as hoppers. They may also have a very different coloration from the adults. Through successive molts the nymphs develop wings until their final moult into a mature adult with fully developed wings.


The number of molts varies among species, and growth is also very variable and may last a few weeks to months depending on the availability of food and weather conditions.




Tettigoniidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

Gryllacrididae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

Gryllidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>

Mantidae <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>


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References: Please refer to <biology.ref.htm>, [Additional references may be found at: MELVYL Library]


Gordon, David George (1998), The eat-a-bug cookbook, Ten Speed Press, pp. 3,


Hoell, H.V., Doyen, J.T. & Purcell, A.H. (1998). Introduction to Insect Biology and Diversity, 2nd ed.. Oxford University Press. pp. 392394.


Imes, Rick (1992), The practical entomologist, Simon and Schuster, pp. 7475.


Zhou Z, Ye H, Huang Y, Shi F. (2010) The phylogeny of Orthoptera inferred from mtDNA and description of Elimaea cheni (Tettigoniidae: Phaneropterinae) mitogenome. J. Genet. Genomics. 37(5):315-324