Saturday, 18 July 2015

Day 257 - Great Grasshoppers

Hi all today's Day 257 and there's only 99 days to go! I forgot to mention yesterday that there was 100 so I thought I would bring it up in today's post as it's a bit of a special occasion. But anyway, on with today's post. I was on a walk at Silton Forest, most of you will know about that, and I saw something jump onto a small plant. I immediately got my camera out and got some pictures. I identified it and found out that it was a Grasshopper, not a Cricket.

So, here are the facts:

  • When you think of Grasshoppers, you probably think of a solitary insect jumping around peacefully. When you think of Locusts you think of millions of insects swarming and eating crops.
  • You'll be very surprised when you find out that they are actually the same thing! Yes, there are some species that we have made Grasshoppers and some Locusts but they both belong to the family Orthoptera.
    Underneath - it was windy and he had to hold on tight -
    that made the photography extra hard!
  • Obviously then, this means that the humble Grasshopper can fly! Well, that's right. They don't only have very powerful legs but wings as well!
  • A single Locust/Grasshopper doesn't do much damage on its own, eating about half of its bodyweight a day but in swarms, lots of damage is caused.
  • In the U.S alone, they cause around $1.5 billion in damage, that's about £961,353,900. In 1954 a swarm of Desert Locusts ate 200 sq Kilometres of wild and cultivated crops.
  • Grasshoppers can jump very high and far, as most people will know. They do this by, in essence, catapulting themselves. Its legs bend back, storing all of the energy they then release them and flee from predators.
  • Apparently, Grasshoppers are very tasty. Africa, Asia and the Americas all have recipes that include Grasshoppers. This is a link to a Mexican Grasshopper recipe. 
A side shot.
  • Grasshoppers can jump or catapult themselves 20 times the length of their body. If we could do that we would be able to jump 40 yards, or about the length of a football pitch.
  • I was surprised to read that grasshoppers have been around for a long time, even before dinosaurs were around. There are fossils of primitive grasshoppers from 300 million years ago.
  • So why is it a grasshopper and not a cricket? Well it was out in the day and it has short antennae, Crickets tend to have long antennae and come out at night.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Loved this post Zach - really interesting. I love Grasshoppers. - Tasha