What Bugs Have the Ability to Jump?

Bugs that have the ability to jump include fleas, grasshoppers, springtails, leafhoppers and froghoppers. These bugs have modified back legs or appendages that allow them to jump long distances. The back legs of a grasshopper, for instance, behave like catapults and propel them many times the length of their bodies.

The flea is an unusual insect in that it lacks wings. It makes up for its lack of wings by being one of the best jumpers in the animal kingdom. A flea launches itself from the equivalent of its feet instead of its knees. Its jumps are powered by potential energy stored in its muscles.

Froghoppers, whose nymphs are the notorious plant parasites called spittlebugs, jump even higher and farther than fleas. Even the nymph is able to jump 100 times the length of its body. Leafhoppers are also plant pests and jump from one plant to another. This mobility makes them hard to completely eradicate.

Springtails are usually inconspicuous insects, even though they are abundant in the soil. Like fleas, they are wingless and jump from place to place. In the case of the springtail, it uses an appendage called a furcula to propel itself. When it's not being used, the furcula is tucked up under the insect's abdomen. When it is used, it snaps downward and causes the insect to jump.