A lot of people will mistake a grasshopper with a cricket. They are related but are indeed two different species of insect. The grasshopper prefers to eat leaves, grasses and cereal grains. For reasons unknown, some grasshoppers will only eat one type of plant while others may eat a variety. The parts of a grasshopper are the head, the thorax, abdomen, the spiracles and coxa, trochanter, femur, tibia, tarsus, genitalia and wings
The head of the grasshopper is where the eyes, antennae and mouth are located. The thorax is the section of the body located behind the head that the legs and the wings are attached to. The abdomen contains the digestive and reproductive organs. Spiracles are breathing pores located along the sides of the grasshopper. Usually ten breathing pores are found, and if you held the grasshoppers head underwater it would not die because they do not breathe the way humans do — they use the breathing pores on their sides.
There are many different sections of leg associated with the grasshopper. They are known as insect world champions when it comes to high jumping, due to their extremely muscular hind legs. Compared to humans grasshoppers have about 200 more muscles and can jump up to 20 times their own length. The coxa is the first section of the leg that is attached to the body while the trochanter and femur are the second and third sections of the leg. The tibia is the fourth section of leg and this will end with the section known as the tarsus.
The genitalia are the sex organs, and finally come the wings which enable flight. A curiosity about grasshoppers is that in late summer the males will rub their back legs against their wings to attract a female so that the reproductive cycle may continue. Once the female lays her eggs (there can be anywhere from two to 120 eggs) deep in the soil, she will die, leaving her young buried beneath the frozen soil during the winter to emerge from their eggs, essentially orphans as their father would also have already passed away.
The digestive system of insects is divided into three sections, the foregut, the midgut and the hindgut. The foregut, or the mouth, is a distinct area with its mandible and salivary glands. The grasshopper’s food is chemically digested where it will then enter the midgut. Once in the stomach the food is broken down and eventually will be passed through the hindgut area that includes the intestines and will be extruded through the anus.
The nervous system of the grasshopper consists of a loose grouping of nerve cells that is controlled by what is called the ganglia. The ganglia exist in each section of the grasshopper and all are connected to what is referred to as the neuropile. The circulatory system of the grasshopper is what is called an open system. There is, however, one closed organ called a dorsal vessel.
This vessel extends from the head to the hind end and is similar to a tube but has two regions — one for the heart located in the abdomen area and the aorta in the second. Another interesting fact about grasshoppers is that since they do not carry oxygen through their "blood", their "blood" is actually green.