Grasshopper vs Locust Best 10 Main Differences Explained

Grasshopper vs Locust

The grasshopper belongs to the family Acrididae. Most species of grasshoppers are green, grey, or brown. The grasshopper species, such as long-horned grasshoppers and the short-horned grasshopper, are present in various countries worldwide, including the Middle East and South America. The short-horned grasshoppers, also called locusts, range from 0.2 to 4.3 inches. The body shape of the grasshopper consists of two pairs of wings; the hind wings are fan-shaped and membranous, and the front pair are narrow and leathery, with the sides nearly parallel.

The grasshopper possesses long hind legs that help them hold prey and walk. The short antennae are also present. The male grasshoppers are smaller than the female grasshoppers. Furthermore, males possess bright colours to attract females. The females lay eggs, and grasshopper eggs are about 4 to 9 millimetres long. 

On the other hand, the locusts belong to the same grasshopper family. There are several species of locusts, such as the migratory locust, the garden locust, and desert locusts. The locusts are a type of grasshoppers that change their behaviour and colour when at their high population density. The female locusts lay eggs about three times during their lives. The tip of the abdomen is rounded in the male locust sue to the sub-genital plate, concealing reproductive organs.

The locusts are solitary insects, forming large groups under intermittently suitable conditions. Some locusts are migratory and cover vast distances. The locusts show two phases; the solitary phase and the gregarious phase. They develop gregarious characteristics. The locusts behave much like grasshoppers. These insects abandon the solitary phase, reproducing at a high rate. When the grasshoppers secrete serotonin, the transition from the solitary phase occurs. These tiny insects rely on vegetation and crops to exist in this world. The locust predators are non-specific feeders, rarely impacting on locust numbers. 

Although both the locust and grasshopper look similar, they are different species. For example, the two insects have similar morphological structures. Both are plant-eating insect species relying on green vegetation. These insects show incomplete metamorphosis (adult, nymphs, eggs, without pupal stage). There is not any taxonomic distinction between locust and grasshopper species; their definition basis is whether a species forms swarms under certain circumstances. However, grasshoppers are plant-eaters, the species which become serious pests. The grasshoppers rarely or never swarm, while locusts always swarm.

Grasshopper vs Locust

The colour of these insects changes when they enter the swarming phase. There are many advantages and disadvantages of these insects. For instance, both grasshoppers and locusts facilitate a natural balance between the regrowth and decomposition process of plants. Both are responsible for destroying various crops though they cover long distances. Therefore, many biological control methods have been developed by science to deal with this issue. People still get confused between these insects despite all these facts. There is no need to worry as this blog post has provided exciting facts and information about these tiny creatures, as mentioned below;



  • The body of grasshoppers is divided into three primary components; the thorax, bearing the structures linked with movement, the abdomen, bearing the reproductive and digestive systems; and the head, holding the sensory systems i.e., mouthparts, eyes, and the antennae. They possess long hind legs for jumping and two pairs of wings, one the broad and flexible and the other rigid and narrow. 
  • The locusts are small creatures, differing in a form more than in color. Their solitary phase consists of shorter wings, a narrow pronotum, longer legs, or dorsal sclerite (with a larger head and higher chest) than the gregarious phase. In the gregarious phase, adults have long wings, broader shoulders, and a more saddle-shaped pronotum. These animal species usually look like grasshopper. 
  • The grasshoppers are present in many countries worldwide, except for the colder regions near the South and North poles. In addition to it, these tiny creatures are native to various habitats, such as mountains, grasslands, savannas, deserts, tropical forests, and other terrestrial regions. 
  • The locusts are also present throughout the world, including Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Pakistan, India, Somalia, Uganda, etc. In addition to this, these insects can be found from the Mediterranean region through Europe, Germany, arid areas of China and the Siberian steppes. 
  • The grasshoppers vary in size and weight depending on the species. The adult grasshopper ranges in size between 0.39 and 2.75 inches. The Giant Weta is considered the largest grasshopper in the world. Furthermore, most of the grasshoppers are shades of brown or green, possessing an average weight of about 0.01 ounces. 
  • The locusts come in the category of insects, darkening the East African skies. These animal species are about the length of a finger, possessing a body length of about 2 to 3 inches or 6 to 8 centimeters. The Desert locust is the most giant locust in the world. Furthermore, 2 grams is their average weight. They can also consume their weight on a regular basis.  
  • The grasshoppers require a proper diet to survive on the earth’s surface. These tiny creatures are herbivores, meaning they will only feed on plants. Their primary diet includes seeds, stems, leaves, and flowers. However, the grasshopper also sometimes scavenges dead insects to get an extra number of proteins. 
  • Like other animals, the locusts also need proper food to survive on the earth’s surface. These tiny insects mostly rely on the tender tissues and leaves of the plants. They are considered rigid and strong fliers because tenacious and adult hoppers are nymphs. They eat a mixture of fresh vegetation. 
  • The grasshoppers communicate with each other by various means. The female and male grasshopper communicates through acoustic signals. In addition to this, these tiny creatures rub their hands against the wings using motor patterns and complex movements to create beautiful songs. 
  • Research has shown that a computer model was used to know about the social network between locusts. It was found that the social interactions occur between locusts when they walk, convincing the other members of their species to walk in the same direction. In addition to it, these creatures can also hear. 
  • Most grasshoppers are solitary and only come together during mating. However, some migratory species gather in several groups of millions to billions of individuals. These insects are most active during the day, feeding at night. They do not possess territories or nests, and some species go for longer migrations to find new food supplies. 
  • Research has shown that locusts show two behavioral phases; gregarious and solitarious (low densities and numbers). When solitarious individuals are repelled from other locust species, the gregarious creatures get attracted to conspecifics, forming giant aggregations; for example, marching hopper bands. 
  • The crickets and grasshoppers have stronger wings that help them travel long distances searching for mates or food. Besides travelling long distances, the grasshopper can also fly high of its weight and size. They can both fly and jump, reaching a speed of about 8 miles per hour.  
  • The locust swarms fly with the wing at the wind speed. They can cover almost 62 to 124 mi or 100 to 200 kilometers in a day and flying up to 6,600 feet or 2,000 meters above sea level. Moreover, they can fly with a wing speed of about 16 to 19 kilometers per hour.  
  • The grasshoppers live for a specific time, after which they die. For example, they can live an average life of about one year in the wild and for more years in captivity. 
  • The locusts also live for a specific time, like other animal species, after which death occurs. They live for about eight to ten weeks in the wild and for more in captivity. 
  • Many predators prey on grasshoppers to meet their survival needs. Their primary predators are rodents, spiders, birds, lizards, mantids, wild turkeys, hawks, raccoons, dragonflies, snakes, bats, beetles, foxes and many other animals. 
  • Many animals eat locusts to meet their survival needs, like grasshoppers. In addition to it, their primary predators include various animals, such as parasitoid wasps, birds, predatory beetle larvae, reptiles, predatory flies and wasps. 
  • According to International Union for Conservation of Nature, grasshoppers are not considered endangered species. 
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature has not listed locust species as endangered species. 


Sometimes people get confused and raise questions about grasshopper vs locust to clear their minds. Therefore, the answers to some of those questions are as mentioned below;

Are locusts just grasshoppers?

Research has shown that all locusts are grasshoppers. But only those grasshoppers are locusts that swarm. However, the locusts are considered mild-mannered. These tiny insects stay put, blending in to avoid various predators. 


Various plants and animals are present throughout the world, all possessing unique identification characters discriminating against them. The same is the case with the grasshopper and the locust. Although both look similar, differences also exist. But people still confuse them. There is no need to worry as this blog post provides exciting facts and information about these tiny creatures to clear people’s minds. It will help greatly if you read this article with great care and attention. 

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