Fascinating facts

  • There are 27 native species of Orthoptera but other species are arriving in the UK as a consequence of factors such as climate change.
  • Some grasshoppers lay their eggs in the soil and then inject froth that mixes with the soil to form an egg pod.
  • Orthoptera can produce up to five songs during courtship: normal song, courtship song, assault song, copulation song and the rivals’ duet.
  • The egg laying organ of Orthoptera is called the ovipositor and this structure varies in form and can be used to identify different species.
  • There is a parasitic fly that lays her young (larvae) onto the body of adult grasshoppers. These larvae invade the grasshopper and consume much of the inside before emerging from the grasshopper head. They fall to the soil where the parasite pupates, completing its life cycle.
  • Orthoptera had exciting times during the ice age; a time when they were forced to inhabit restricted zones (ice free locations in southern Europe). As the ice retreated they were able to expand again across Europe and different populations met forming hybrid zones. The different Orthoptera races had developed new songs and differed genetically.