Grasshopper, crickets and katydid, how to differentiate them ?

4954How to spot the difference between crickets, grasshoppers and locusts ?

We see some insects almost every day, but in reality, we don’t know much about them… That’s normal there are more than 1 Million of species that are recorded.

 “Honey, look it is a grasshopper”

The common mistake that is made is mistaking crickets, grasshoppers and katydids. As a beginning, grasshoppers, crickets and katydids belong to the same order: Orthopterans. Insects of this order share one common attribute: They have straight wings closed to the body. In this family, you’ll find crickets, grasshoppers, katydids, locusts and mole crickets.

You have to know that wings’ size and shape are one of the parameters taken into account to classify insects. As an example, dipterans such as flies have only two wings whereas coleopterans or beetles have elytra.

Between grasshoppers, crickets and katydids, size does matter

Getting the difference between grasshoppers and katydids at first glance is easier than you could think! Grasshoppers have short and thick antennas whereas katydids and crickets antennas are much thinner and longer. If the antennas are longer than the body it’s a katydid or cricket! Easy as a cricket pie.

Unlike what is commonly said, you can never tell the difference between crickets, katydids and grasshoppers depending on their colours. Both of them can be green or brown.

Tell me what you do, I will tell who you are

There is an easy way to tell the difference between them. Look at their behaviours. Katydids are nocturnal insects that are omnivorous and can feed preys such as other insects. On the other hand, grasshoppers will be found during the afternoon on sunny days feeding on grass. Crickets are often omnivorous and live in small burrows, they often get out during the night.

The difference between crickets and katydids lie in the legs

You can spot the difference between crickets and katydids by their legs. The legs of katydids are aligned with their body whereas for the crickets they are perpendicular. As this can be tricky, katydids have elongated bodies.

Now, you’re an expert and can spot the differences between all orthopterans!

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