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Orthoptera ~ Grasshoppers, Katydids, Crickets

This order is best known for its members' ability to jump using their large hind legs. The three divisions are fairly easy to recognize, with katydids sometimes being called long-horned grasshoppers, and grasshoppers sometimes referred to as locusts.

Nymphs and adults have chewing mouthparts. Most feed on plants but some are predatory or scavengers.

Orthopterans range from fully winged, powerful fliers to wingless. Many species have several forms, from full to reduced wings.

This order develops through incomplete, or simple, metamorphosis: the nymphs pass through seven to ten stages before they become adults. As nymphs and adults occupy the same habitat, they may often be found near each other.

Size ranges from small to very large. The biggest grasshoppers may be 60 mm long.

While it is easy to identify Orthopterans to their large groups, it can become difficult to get much beyond family, as similarities between genera and species are aggravated by variability within species.

These are the Families of Orthoptera (grasshoppers, katydids, and crickets) likely to be encountered in Austin, Texas:




[pygmy grasshoppers]

[pygmy mole crickets]

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