Grasshoppers belong to the family of insects. There are more than 10,000 different species of grasshoppers found the word over. Their body is segmented into head, thorax and abdomen. They have six legs and 2 pairs of wings. A pair of antennas in the front helps in sensing obstacles around. They have a hard exoskeleton covering the delicate organs inside. Spiracles present in the form of pores on the sides of the abdomen help in respiration. The size of a grasshopper varies according to the species. A few can reach a length of 4.5 inches. They are predominantly green in color and feed on leaves.
The internal structure of a grasshopper is very simple. A group of ganglia (nerve cells) found in the head act as brain. A neuropile acts as a center for transmission of signals from one ganglion to another. Sensory neurons are present on the external surface of the body. They have small hairs called sensilla that react and respond to any type of external stimulus. The sensilla are in direct contact with the neuropile.
The insect chews grass, flowers, etc. with the help of a muscular pharynx situated in the mouth. The food then passes through the esophagus, crop and finally reaches the midgut. Here, the food is completely digested with the help of enzymes. It then travels through the hindgut or the anal region. The malpighian tubules aid in excretion. Uric acid, amino acids and urea are the main excretory products.
These insects have hemolymph, a fluid that acts like blood. It is pumped through valved chambers to different parts of the body.
Males have follicles that hold spermatocytes. After mating, the sperms fuse with the female’s ovum leading to the production of egg gonads. Each egg pods has nearly 30 to 100 eggs. The female lays these pods on soil with the help of her ovipositor.
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