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Orthoptera (crickets, grasshoppers and locusts)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Phylum: Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Polyneoptera > Anartioptera > Orthopterida

Henicus brevimucronatus, known only from Newlands Forest in the Cape Peninsula.

Grasshopper (family: Acrididae)

Foaming grasshopper Dictyophorus spumans (family Pyrgomorphidae). Poisonous!

The main defining character of the Orthoptera is the fact that they have the hind legs adapted for jumping: the femur is broad because it contains muscles for extending the leg quickly.

Many people get confused between grasshoppers and locusts usually thinking that a large grasshopper is a locust. In fact, locusts are limited to a few species of grasshoppers which go into a swarming phase forming massive swarms that can cause immense destruction to crops and pastures.


Order: Orthoptera



  • Lomer, C.J., Bateman, R.P., Johnson, D.L., Langewald, J. & Thomas, M. 2001. Biological control of locusts and grasshoppers. Annual Review of Entomology 46: 667-702.


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