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Place the food plants inside the enclosure of the grasshoppers. They will start to eat from it instantly. At some point the plant will be too dry to eat, then the grasshoppers should be fed again with fresh plants. Once in a while you should clear out all old dry plant material from the enclosure.

Grasshoppers / Locusts





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Whether or not you want to keep grasshoppers as pets or as food insects for your reptile, mantis or other pet, this page is the place for you. Here you can find how to take care of grasshoppers and locusts, with a special focus on the “common” pet grasshopper species Locusta migratoria and Schistocerca gregaria. You will also learn how to breed them.


How to take care of a grasshopper! | Pet Land

A grasshopper nymph. You can see it is not yet adult because of the short underdeveloped wings.

Grasshoppers fall in the order of Orthoptera, in the suborder Caelifera. Grasshoppers are sometimes called locusts. There are many species, the most famous ones are the desert grasshoppers that also occur in the bible as one of the plagues. Both species Locusta migratoria and Schistocerca gregaria are desert grasshoppers and are in the family Acrididae. Both species reach a size of around 7 cm in length.

Development and life cycle of grasshoppers


A female grasshopper lays eggs in small egg clusters, usually in the ground but she can also deposit them in plant material. Young grasshoppers are called nymphs and already look like miniature versions of the parents. Nymphs lack wings, only adult grasshoppers have fully functional wings. Grasshopper nymphs grow fast and shed their skin (molt) around 8 times in the process. At the last molt both males and females grow long wings that pass the abdomen.


It takes around 2 – 3 weeks for eggs to hatch. In around 4 weeks the nymphs reach adulthood. Around two weeks after that they begin to mate and produce eggs. If the temperature is low, development and breeding will slow down too. A grasshopper will die of old age when it has been an adult for around 5 months.

Schistocerca gregaria nymph

Housing your grasshoppers


Housing grasshoppers is easy. You need a container that is big enough, has some ventilation and can be closed properly to prevent escape. Grasshoppers can chew through fabric gauze, so net cages or cages with a fabric cover are not suitable for grasshoppers. A fauna box, a glass terrarium or a plastic terrarium with metal mesh for ventilation will do. If you keep the grasshoppers as pets, a glass terrarium with a mesh lid will look good. If you keep the grasshoppers to feed them to reptiles or praying mantises you a plastic container is more practical, as it is lightweight and cheaper. Make sure the container is big enough for all grasshoppers. Twelve adult grasshoppers need a cage of around 50 x 50 x 30 cm at least. Bigger is always better.


Fill the bottom of the container with dry sand, dry oatmeal flakes or dry coconut fibers. Place some dry twigs or branches in the enclosure to provide extra surface for the grasshoppers to sit on. The food of the grasshoppers, grass and/or leaves, will also serve as decoration and perching areas. Make sure light reaches into the container, either by a light bulb (see next section about Temperature) or by natural light. Direct sunlight shining into the enclosure could heat it up too much, make sure to prevent overheating.



Schistocerca gregaria nymph seen from top

Temperature and humidity


The grasshopper species Locusta migratoria and Schistocerca gregaria are desert species. They need a dry and warm environment to thrive. A too humid environment will result in infections and death of the grasshoppers. A too cold environment will slow down development and make breeding grasshoppers impossible.


Keep the temperature during the day between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius. By night you can allow the temperature to drop to 15 degrees Celsius. The best way to heat the enclosure of grasshoppers is with a regular light bulb. It is also possible to heat the terrarium with a species heat bulb, found in reptile-specialized pet shops. You can heat the enclosure with a heat mat too. More information about heating any insect enclosure can be read at our page Temperature.


Keep the humidity low by placing dry bedding in the enclosure (dry coconut fiber, oatmeal flakes or dry sand) and not spraying with water. Grasshoppers do need moisture to survive, but can get this from their food. Lightly spray fresh food with water before feeding it to your grasshoppers. If you feel like the enclosure is getting moist, for example when you have an enclosure with little ventilation or if the enclosure is placed in a room with high air humidity, then you can better skip the spraying of the food. The locusts will get all their moisture from the fresh plant material that you give them.

Locusta migratoria nymph

Food and feeding grasshoppers


Locusta migratoria and Schistocerca gregaria eat only plant material. The best food and easiest food you can give them is fresh grass. Even better is fresh reed, reedgrass or canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) if available. Fresh wheat leaves, corn leaves and other vegetable plants may also be eaten. But actually, many plant species will be eaten by grasshoppers. You can try to feed them any kind of grass-like species; if they eat the plants, it means that this is a suitable plant species. Generally grasshoppers will refuse to eat any poisonous plants. Be very aware of insecticide, if any plant has been spraying with insecticide it will be deadly to your grasshoppers.

Schistocerca gregaria nymph

Breeding grasshoppers:


It is very easy to breed grasshoppers as long as you keep them in the right circumstances. They really need high temperature, low humidity and plenty of fresh food. If you have males and females, breeding will occur naturally. You don’t need to move the eggs or nymphs to a different container. If you like, you can of course. The nymphs are very small, so you might want to keep them in a different container than the parents to cater to their needs, prevent escaping and keep a better eye on them.


If you really keep grasshoppers well, you will be awarded with a lot of young grasshoppers. Make sure this is actually what you want! If you don’t want to breed with the grasshoppers, remove the bedding with the eggs or collect the eggs and place them in the freezer. This will kill the eggs before they start to develop. Never release grasshoppers into nature. They can cause plagues, disrupt nature and compete with native grasshopper species.



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Locusta migratoria nymph

Buying grasshoppers


It’s actually very easy so buy grasshoppers. You can buy them in reptile-oriented pet shops. They are sold there as feeder animals. They are sold in different sizes, from small nymphs, to bigger nymphs and to adults. If you want to keep them for fun, you can better buy the nymphs. If you want to breed them, it’s faster to just buy the adults.


Make sure the grasshoppers look healthy when you buy them. There should not be any dead grasshoppers in the container.

What's The Difference Between Grasshoppers and Locusts?


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 Locusts and grasshoppers are identical in appearance - how they differ is in their behaviour. Locusts can exist in two different behavioural states (solitary and gregarious) whereas grasshoppers generally do not. When the population density is low, locusts behave as individuals, much like grasshoppers. However, when locust population density is high they form into gregariously behaving bands of nymphs or swarms of adults. It is this change from one behavioural state to another, known as phase change, that makes locusts such devastating pests. 


In addition to changes in behaviour, phase change may be accompanied by changes in body shape and colour, and in fertility, survival and migratory behaviour. These changes are so dramatic in many species that the swarming and non-swarming forms were once considered to be different species. Note, however, that the distinction between locusts and grasshoppers is not clear-cut. The migratory locust has all of the features associated with phase change: changes in body shapes and colour, in fertility and in forming dense bands and swarms. The Australian plague locust has all of the locust features except there is little change in body colour while the spur-throated locust rarely forms bands though does form dense swarms and migrates. Some species of grasshoppers (e.g. Austroicetes cruciata, Oedaleus australis and Peakesia spp.) can behave gregariously but these species do not tend to undergo long distance migration as dense swarms like true locusts do. 


Grasshoppers are herbivores, or plant-eaters. They eat just about any plant, including grass and vegetables out of the garden. Locusts and other species of grasshoppers can be quite a nuisance to farmers. What do grasshoppers eat? They eat plants, and lots of them.


What do Grasshoppers Eat?


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What do Grasshoppers Eat?


Grasshoppers are a type of insect with long hind legs that can leap high into the air and fly. When you look at one of these strange bugs, you might find yourself asking, "What do grasshoppers eat?" It may not be readily apparent, as grasshoppers have a set of fierce-looking mandibles, or teeth, on the exterior of their faces, but grasshoppers are actually strict herbivores. Even though they aren't dangerous to humans, the diets of grasshoppers are still very important for people to understand. When there are too many grasshoppers in one area, they transform into locusts and can swarm across entire continents, gobbling up every farmer's crop in their path and causing millions of dollars in damage.


What do Baby Grasshoppers Eat?


Grasshoppers hatch out of eggs, like all insects, and go through several different stages before becoming adults. Baby grasshoppers are called nymphs and begin life looking like very small, bright green grasshoppers. You can tell a baby grasshopper from an adult from its size, its lack of wings and because its body will be much more compact than an adult's. When they have just hatched, nymphs can't move very far and have to eat whatever plants are around them. They prefer small, tender plants that they can digest easily, like clover, grass or fresh shoots.


As grasshopper nymphs grow older, they undergo a process called molting, where they shed their old skin and emerge bigger and stronger. Their mandibles grow too, and as the grasshopper ages it is able to start eating tougher plants. A young grasshopper soon moves on to grasses and other foods preferred by adults of their species.


What do Adult Grasshoppers Eat?


Once a grasshopper nymph molts for the final time, it becomes an adult and is able to fly, reproduce and chew through nearly anything. Grasshoppers' favorite foods are plants in the grass family such as corn, wheat, barley and alfalfa. They aren't picky, however, and can eat many other types of plants. It's not uncommon to see grasshoppers chewing on the leaves of a tree, and more eating the grass beneath it. They are able to digest even the driest plants thanks to special chemicals in their stomach and saliva, which can break down the carbohydrates they use for energy.


Grasshoppers are one of the few animals able to change their appearance in response to environmental pressures like overpopulation. Normally, grasshoppers are solitary creatures and try to avoid each other. When they feel other grasshoppers rubbing up against their legs, it triggers a special chemical that makes them grow larger, eat more, lay eggs faster and migrate in groups. The hungry locusts can form swarms made up of trillions of bugs, traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles and eating any plant they come across. They have been known to destroy whole fields of crops in Africa, leading to widespread famine throughout history. In fact, the eating habits of grasshoppers were so important to ancient societies that plagues of locusts are mentioned several times in both the Bible and the Quran.







The hooded grasshopper from India.

What Can I Feed My Pet Grasshopper?


Most grasshoppers never become locusts, though, and can even become fun and easy pet. If you have found a grasshopper, keep it in a jar with some air holes punched into the lid. Give your pet a few twigs to stand on and jump between, and you will also need to provide it with some tasty food to eat. What do grasshoppers eat in captivity? The good news is that the answer is basically anything. Lettuce or other leftover vegetables make for a delicious treat, but you should also include blades of grass and leaves from shrubs and trees. With the right care, you can watch your grasshopper grow into a full-sized adult and live a happy life, free from predators and with a constant supply of its favorite plants to eat.

The sound of grasshoppers brings to mind warm, lazy summer days spent lying in long grass for most of us; but among farmers, grasshoppers and locusts have a more sinister reputation as crop-destroyers. Most short-horned grasshoppers and all locusts belong the same family, Acrididae, and are very similar insects. Locusts differ mostly in their ability to change appearance and behavior in response to population increases and reduction in food supplies. Long-horned grasshoppers, or katydids, also look similar, but are members of the Tettigoniidae family.




Grasshoppers share many features with other insects, including six legs, a separate head, abdomen and thorax, and a hard, chitinous shell. Different species range in size between 1/2 inch and 2 3/4 inches, or 7 centimeters. Grasshoppers have long hind legs, large eyes, a single pair of antennae, and two pairs of wings. Their front wings are thin and tough, and their back wings are wide and flexible. In some species the wings are brightly colored, but most grasshoppers' coloring is green, brown or gray, to help them blend into their environment. Grasshoppers also have large mouthparts for chewing. Long-horned grasshoppers' identifying characteristic is their antennae, which are longer than their wings, while short-horned grasshoppers have short, stubby antennae.




Locust bodies undergo changes when they turn from solitary to swarming behavior. Their wings grow larger, enabling them to fly great distances; some species change color or appearance. Migratory locusts' (Locusta migratoria) heads become more streamlined, and desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) change from green to black with orange spots. Locusts have two phases, solitary and swarming. Female locusts are larger than males when species are in the solitary phase; but when they're swarming, size differences reduce and sometimes disappear entirely. Most grasshoppers look similar as they grow, increasing in size in five or six stages, gaining wings in their final, adult stage.


Social Behavior:


Grasshoppers and locusts have different patterns of social behavior that can help identify them. A single insect could be a grasshopper or a locust, but a band of insects in close proximity to one another are almost certainly locusts. Grasshoppers tend to be solitary insects, only meeting others to mate and reproduce. Locusts are solitary only sometimes. They change from solitary to gregarious or swarming when their populations achieve a certain density, and often if surrounding vegetation becomes dry. Instead of avoiding each other, they seek out other locusts and complete they daily activities of feeding, basking, moving and roosting in groups or bands.


Migration :


Grasshoppers and locusts are similar in their preferences for specific habitats, but locusts range widely, migrating to different areas. Most grasshoppers remain roughly where they hatched, living in open, dry grassland and scrub, and also often invading adjacent farmers' fields. When swarming, locusts travel large distances in bands and also fly long distances when solitary. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations' guidelines on desert locusts states crawling locusts have been recorded traveling 650 feet to 5,500 feet. Solitary locusts may fly 870 miles in one day.


Grasshopper World, up-close and personal

My Pet Grasshopper

Making a Habitat for Bugs! (Terrarium)

Same tarantulas or bugs vivariums can be fit for one grasshopper .. colonies required good ventilated cages ( same to the chameleon vivariums )


How to take care of grasshoppers

Further Reading : 



Gigantic grasshopper

GRASSHOPPER :  Introduction and general keeping information 


GRASSHOPPER SPECIES :  Page One   -  Page two  -   Page Three -  Page Four

We can say that the grasshopper keeping still new and challenging ..


You can search the   :   Book Finder . com  for more books 

GRASSHOPPER :  Introduction and general keeping information 


GRASSHOPPER SPECIES :  Page One   -  Page two  -   Page Three -  Page Four

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