grasshopper


grasshopper
/gras"hop'euhr, grahs"-/, n.
1. any of numerous herbivorous, orthopterous insects, esp. of the families Acrididae and Tettigoniidae, having the hind legs adapted for leaping and having chewing mouth parts, some species being highly destructive to vegetation. Cf. locust (def. 1), long-horned grasshopper.
2. a small, light airplane used on low-flying missions, as for reconnaissance.
3. (cap.) Mil. a U.S. antipersonnel mine that jumps off the ground when activated by proximate body heat and sprays shrapnel over a lethal radius of 350 ft. (107 m).
4. a cocktail of light cream, green crème de menthe, and white crème de menthe or crème de cacao.
[1275-1325; ME; see GRASS, HOPPER]

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Any of the leaping insects of the family Acrididae (short-horned grasshoppers) or Tettigoniidae (long-horned grasshoppers), both in the order Orthoptera.

Grasshoppers are most common in tropical forests, semiarid regions, and grasslands. Colours range from green to olive or brown, sometimes with yellow or red markings. Grasshoppers eat plant material and may damage crops. Some species are more than 4 in. (11 cm) long. The male can produce a buzzing sound either by rubbing its front wings together or by rubbing toothlike ridges on the hind legs against a raised vein on each front wing. Grasshoppers are a favourite food of many birds, frogs, and snakes. See also katydid; locust.

Short-horned grasshopper (Acrididae)

Earl L. Kubis
Root Resources

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insect
      any of a group of jumping insects (order Orthoptera) that are found in a variety of habitats. Grasshoppers occur in greatest numbers in lowland tropical forests, semiarid regions, and grasslands. They range in colour from green to olive or brown and may have yellow or red markings.

      The grasshopper senses touch through organs located in various parts of its body, including antennae and palps on the head, cerci on the abdomen, and receptors on the legs. Organs for taste are located in the mouth, and those for smell are on the antennae. The grasshopper hears by means of a tympanal organ situated either at the base of the abdomen (Acrididae) or at the base of each front tibia (Tettigoniidae). Its sense of vision is in the compound eyes, while change in light intensity is perceived in the simple eyes (or ocelli). Although most grasshoppers are herbivorous, only a few species are important economically as crop pests.

      The femur region of the upper hindlegs is greatly enlarged and contains large muscles that make the legs well adapted for leaping. The male can produce a buzzing sound either by rubbing its front wings together (Tettigoniidae) or by rubbing toothlike ridges on the hind femurs against a raised vein on each closed front wing (Acrididae).

      Some grasshoppers are adapted to specialized habitats. The South American Marellia remipes spends most of its life on floating vegetation and actively swims and lays eggs on underwater aquatic plants. Grasshoppers generally are large, with some exceeding 11 cm (4 inches) in length (e.g., Tropidacris latriellei of South America).

      In certain parts of the world, grasshoppers are eaten as food. They are often dried, jellied, roasted and dipped in honey or ground into a meal. Grasshoppers are controlled in nature by predators such as birds, frogs, and snakes. Humans use insecticides and poison baits to control them when they become crop pests.

  The short-horned grasshopper (family Acrididae [see photograph—>], formerly Locustidae) includes both inoffensive, nonmigratory species and the often-destructive, swarming, migratory species known as locust. The long-horned grasshopper (family Tettigoniidae) is represented by the katydid, the meadow grasshopper (see photograph—>), the cone-headed grasshopper, and the shield-backed grasshopper.

      Other orthopterans are also sometimes known as grasshoppers. The pygmy grasshopper (family Tetrigidae) is sometimes called the grouse, or pygmy, locust. The leaf-rolling grasshopper (family Gryllacrididae) is usually wingless and lacks hearing organs.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grasshopper — Grass hop per, n. 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any jumping, orthopterous insect, of the families {Acridid[ae]} and {Locustid[ae]}, having large hind legs adapted for leaping, and chewing mouth parts. The species and genera are very numerous and some are very… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • grasshopper — (n.) mid 14c. (late 13c. as a surname), earlier greshoppe (c.1200), from O.E. gærshoppa; see GRASS (Cf. grass) + HOP (Cf. hop). Cf. M.Swed. gräshoppare, Ger. Grashüpfer. As a term of reproach, from Eccl. xii:5. Also recorded c.1300 as a name for… …   Etymology dictionary

  • grasshopper — ► NOUN ▪ a plant eating insect with long hind legs which are used for jumping and for producing a chirping sound …   English terms dictionary

  • grasshopper — [gras′häp΄ər] n. [ME grashoppere, extended with er suffix (see ER) < greshoppe < OE gærshoppe < gærs (see GRASS) + base of hoppian (see HOP1)] 1. any of various families (esp. Acrididae) of leaping, plant eating orthopteran insects with… …   English World dictionary

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  • GRASSHOPPER — Among the insects mentioned in the Bible as permitted for food are those that go upon all fours, which have jointed legs above their feet, wherewith to leap upon the earth (see animals of the bible ). These are the arbeh ( locust ) after its… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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  • grasshopper — (Roget s IV) n. Insects commonly called grasshoppers include: katydid, locust, cricket, green grasshopper, short horned grasshopper, long horned grasshopper, red legged grasshopper, Rocky Mountain grasshopper, Mormon cricket, hateful grasshopper; …   English dictionary for students

  • grasshopper — UK [ˈɡrɑːsˌhɒpə(r)] / US [ˈɡræsˌhɑpər] noun [countable] Word forms grasshopper : singular grasshopper plural grasshoppers a large insect with long back legs that moves by jumping and makes short high sounds • See: knee high …   English dictionary


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