Grasshopper Life Cycle
During reproduction, the male grasshopper introduces sperm into the vagina through its aedeagus (reproductive organ), and inserts its spermatophore, a package containing the sperm, into the females ovipositor. The sperm enters the eggs through fine canals called micropyles.
In the summer, the female grasshopper lays the fertilized egg pod, using her ovipositor and abdomen to insert the eggs about one to two inches underground, although they can also be laid in plant roots or even manure and usually in their habitats. These are immediately incubated. She lays the eggs in a row and sprays them with a stick substance which forms a pod. Each ‘pod’ has 15 – 150 eggs inside it, depending on the species. The female grasshopper can lay up to 25 pods.
Grasshoppers undergo simple complete or incomplete metamorphosis that consists of 3 or 4 stages:
Complete metamorphosis: Incomplete metamorphosis:
Grasshopper eggs with one egg split showing a young nymph about to emerge.
Egg pods are oval to elongate and often curved. Often the size of kernels of rice, eggs may be white, yellow-green, tan or various shades of brown depending on the species.
Eggs hatch into nymphs, which look like little adults without wings and reproductive organs. Nymphs resemble small, wingless adults.
Newly hatched nymphs are white, however, after exposure to sunlight, they assume the distinctive colors and markings of adults. Nymphs molt their skins many times as they grow to be adults.
Female grasshoppers try to choose a good place to lay their eggs, however, this is the only parental care they provide. Grasshoppers do not take care of their young once they have hatched.
Learn More about Grasshoppers:
- Grasshopper Facts
- Grasshopper Species
- Grasshopper Anatomy
- Locusts vs Grasshoppers
- Why do Grasshoppers Sing?
- Grasshopper Quiz