Saturday, December 18, 2010
Grasshopper Joints and Hangouts
There are a lot of grasshoppers (sometimes defined as short-horned grasshoppers, helpful distinction for those who call tree crickets and katydids grasshoppers) around now in various sizes and colors. All of these are greybirds, Schistocerca nitens, cousin to infamous grasshoppers of destruction.
Grasshoppers, long and short horned, are classified in the order Orthoptera which means straight wing.
The wing covers are what you see when the creature is at rest; underneath the membranous flying wings are folded lengthwise accordion-like. The young grasshopper hatches resembling the adult except having no wings.
As it grows and molts the wing buds appear about midway through the insect's development and the wings develop outside of the insect's body. This mode of development in the insect world is called hemimetabolous, incomplete or gradual metamorphosis.
Maybe I simply have very nice plants that are pleasing and comforting to grasshoppers.
In my garden grasshoppers young and old are commonly found on the grasses such as pennisetum, the bronze fennel, aromatic mint family plants like salvias and lavendar, the lemon verbena aloysia triphylla, and occasionally on the California grape vitis californica.