Features of grasshoppers include large eyes and coloring that matches their environment. They are typically gray, brown or green. They have two pairs of wings and long back legs that allow them to jump. Female grasshoppers are bigger than males, and their abdomens are sharply pointed to help them dig holes to lay eggs underground. Male grasshoppers have wings with additional attachments that they rub together to produce sounds.
Over 10,000 species of grasshoppers inhabit every continent but Antarctica and require a habitat full of grass and plants to eat. They prefer tropical and temperate climates. They are active during the day but are also found feeding at night. Grasshoppers do not build nests and are typically solitary creatures, although species that migrate tend to do so in groups of millions. When grasshoppers do come together, it is only to mate, and they communicate with each other through sight, sound, scent and touch.
All grasshoppers are born from eggs and go through a five- to six-step metamorphosis in which their skin is shed and they re-emerge with more qualities of the adult grasshopper. They develop wings and are able to breed after their last metamorphosis. Additionally, they are only viable in warm climates; while grasshopper eggs can survive winter, adult grasshoppers die. They have lifespans of several years in warmer climates, barring early deaths from predators, disease or drought killing their food sources.