What Kind of Plants Do Grasshoppers Eat?

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Grasshoppers are herbivores, meaning they only eat plants and will pretty much eat what is available. Although they eat mainly leaves, they also snack on stems, seeds and flowers, and from time to time will eat dead insects to take in additional protein.

Grasshoppers feed at night and may make long migrations in search of food. Some migratory species gather in groups numbering in the billions, although typically grasshoppers are solitary insects.

Some species of grasshopper are known to munch on toxic plants as part of a strategy to discourage their many predators from eating them. Grasshoppers hide and fly or jump away from predators when possible, but they are preyed upon by spiders, centipedes, toads, birds, snakes and small mammals. Grasshoppers that have eaten toxins can be differentiated by their bright colors, which are used to warn predators that they are toxic or that they taste bad.

Interestingly, grasshoppers can be found on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. More than 10,000 species of grasshopper are known to science, and most of them prefer an open habitat with lots of plants to eat. They can be found in marsh wetlands, deserts, dunes, forests and rain forest biomes and in habitats ranging from terrestrial to tropical and temperate.