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How to Tell the Difference Between a Grasshopper and a Cricket

The Suborders Caelifera and Ensifera

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Grasshoppers are active during the day, and have relatively short antennae.

Grasshoppers are active during the day, and have relatively short antennae.

Photo: © Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, United States

Grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, and locusts all belong to the order Orthoptera. Members of this group share a common ancestor.

Based on physical and behavioral characteristics, the Orthopterans can be split into two distinct groups, or suborders – the Caelifera and the Ensifera. Caeliferans include the grasshoppers and locusts. The suborder Ensifera is comprised of the crickets and katydids.

The following traits separate most grasshoppers and locusts from their close cousins, the crickets and katydids. As with any rule, there may be exceptions.

Differences Between Grasshoppers and Crickets

CharacteristicGrasshoppers & LocustsCrickets & Katydids
Antennaeshortlong
Auditory Organson the abdomenon the forelegs
Stridulationrubbing the hind leg against the forewingrubbing forewings together
Ovipositorsshortlong, extended
Activitydiurnalnocturnal
Feeding Habitsherbivorouspredatory, omnivorous, or herbivorous
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