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What are the basics of grasshopper identification?

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Quick Answer

Some grasshoppers are identified by shorter antennae, hind wings, slanted or straight faces, and spurs or pegs between the first pair of legs. Wings can be clear, colorful or banded. Grasshopper heads are slanted, perpendicular or cone-shaped.

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Full Answer

The first feature to identify a grasshopper is the antennae. Similar creatures with long antennae are katydids and crickets, but not grasshoppers. Grasshoppers have short antennae that rise out of the tops of their heads.

Grasshopper wings contain leaf-like, translucent veins. Certain grasshoppers have clear wings, and others are black or colorful.

Grasshoppers have slanted, conical or straight faces. Slanted faces go backward from top to bottom. Conical faces appear to come to a tip at the very front part of the head. Straight-faced grasshoppers have a face that goes straight up and down, perpendicular with relation to the rest of the body.

Some grasshoppers have spurs or pegs between the front pair of legs near the head. This object is a little nub below the head just below the mandible. Some larger grasshoppers do not have a spur or peg between their front legs.

Grasshoppers come in all colors, and some are even striped. All types of this family of insects have strong hind legs for jumping.

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