Grasshopper , a name properly applied to orthopterous insects of the family loevstadoe. Some European entomologists assign the generic name locusta to the grasshopper; the sau-terelles of the French include both locusts and grasshoppers; great inconvenience has arisen from this confusion of names, which will be avoided by calling the grasshoppers locustada', and the locusts acrydii. The locustadoe are characterized by having long antenna?, four joints to all their feet, wing covers sloping downward at the sides of the body, and the end of the abdomen in the females provided with a projecting sword-shaped piercer; the jaws are formed for mastication; the upper wings are thick and opaque, overlapping a little on the back, this portion forming a long triangle, traversed in the males by strong projecting veins, between which are thin, transparent, membranous spaces; the under wings are thin and folded in plaits like a fan; they undergo a partial transformation, the larva) and pupa) being active, voracious, and wingless; they are injurious to vegetation in all their forms.
The males emit a shrill sound produced by the friction of the overlapping portions of the wings, intensified by the vibration of the air contained in the internal air sacs, and its action upon a complicated series of valves and membranous plates about the origins of the wings and legs. Most grasshoppers are of a green color, more or less resembling the leaves upon which they feed; they are more active by night than by day; when taken, they emit from the mouth a dark-colored fluid, known by every school boy as "molasses;" they do not associate together, nor migrate from place to place in large numbers, as do the locusts proper. Some live upon grass and herbaceous plants, and the females lay their eggs in the ground in holes made by their nearly straight piercers; the eggs are elongated, ellipsoidal, very numerous, from one fourth to one fifth of an inch long, and covered with a thin varnish-like film. Others live upon trees and shrubs, like the katydid; their wings and covers are broader, and they deposit their eggs on the branches of trees in regular rows, having shaved off the bark with their short and curved piercer. The legs are three pairs, the posterior being much the longest and capable of performing the jumps whence these insects derive their name; they all end in elastic hooks.
The flight of the grasshopper is short, unsteady, and noiseless, compared with that of the locust. The American katydid (platyphyllum concavum, Harris) will be described under that title. Other native grasshoppers are: 1. The spotted wingless grasshopper (phalangopsis maculata, Harris), pale yellowish brown, with small light spots on the darker back, smooth and shining, with arched back, from half an inch to about an inch long; it is common, under stones and sticks in the woods, has the short thick body and stout hind thighs of a cricket, and is entirely destitute of wings. 2. The oblong leaf-winged grasshopper (phylloptera oblongifolia, De Geer) is of a brilliant green, with very delicate wings, the under extending far beyond the upper; the body is only about an inch long, but to the end of the wings it often measures three inches; in its perfect state it is found upon trees in September and October; during flight it makes a whizzing noise. 3. The curved-tailed grasshopper (P. curvicauda, De Geer), of the middle and southern states, is a larger species, with wing covers broadest in the middle. 4. The narrow-leaved grasshopper (phaneroptera angustifolia, Harris) is green, with wing covers rounded at the tips and shorter than the wings, a short bent piercer, and in the male a long tapering projection from the under side of the body; it measures in the body three quarters of an inch, and to the end of the wings about an inch and three quarters; it comes to maturity early in September. 5. The common meadow grasshopper (orchelimum vulgare, Harris), so numerous near the end of summer at different ages, is of a general green, with a brown stripe on the top of the head and thorax; it measures at maturity about three quarters of an inch to the end of the body, and a quarter of an inch more to the end of the semi-transparent wing covers; the shrilling organs consist of a transparent glassy spot in the overlapping portion of each wing cover, which is larger and stronger than in other grasshoppers; the hindmost thighs are smooth, there are two spines on the middle of the breast, and the antennae extend beyond the end of the hind legs. 0. The sword-bearer grasshopper (cono-cephalus ensiger, Harris) has the head conical, extending to a blunt point between the eyes, and a long, straight, sword-shaped piercer; it measures an inch to the end of the body, and an inch more to the end of the wing covers; it is pale green, with whitish head, and pale brownish green legs and abdomen. - The young grasshopper comes from the egg without wings; passing through several moultings, the body increases and little stump-like wings appear; the wings gradually become longer with each change of skin, the insect hopping about by means of its muscular hind thighs; after ceasing to grow, the wings are perfect organs of flight, and the grasshopper enters upon its short life; the song by degrees becomes less, the body shrivels, the legs wither, the appetite ceases, and in three or four weeks the whole number are dead.
The larvae remain in the earth or wherever the eggs are deposited all winter, and are hatched in the spring; they are voracious as larva, pupa, and perfect insect, and in all these stages are eagerly devoured by fowls, especially turkeys. - The green grasshopper of Europe (L. viridissima, Latr.) is two inches long, of a fine green without spots. The L. verrucivora (Fabr.) is green, with the wing covers spotted with brown and black; it bites severely, and the Swedes submit their warts to its mandibles, asserting that after its bite the warts quickly disappear.
Oblong Leaf-winged Grasshopper (Phylloptera oblongifolia).
Narrow-leaved Grasshopper (Phaneroptera angustifolia).
Common Meadow Grasshopper (Orchelimum vulgare).
There are many other species in different parts of the world, but none merit attention for their destructiveness in comparison with the locusts; war is rarely waged against grasshoppers, as their natural enemies, birds, domestic fowls, and sand wasps, keep them down in proper limits.