Is a grasshopper a planthopper?

Answered by Edward Huber

A grasshopper is not a planthopper. While both grasshoppers and planthoppers belong to the order Hemiptera, they are part of different suborders within this order. Grasshoppers belong to the suborder Caelifera, while planthoppers belong to the suborder Auchenorrhyncha.

Grasshoppers are known for their ability to jump long distances using their hind legs. They have a robust body structure with powerful legs adapted for jumping. Grasshoppers are typically herbivorous insects that feed on plants, including grasses, leaves, and other vegetation. They have chewing mouthparts and consume their food by biting and chewing.

On the other hand, planthoppers are named for their resemblance to leaves and other plants in their environment. They have a more elongated body shape and are often green or brown in color, providing excellent camouflage. Planthoppers have specialized mouthparts known as stylets, which they use to pierce plant tissues and suck sap. This makes them sap-feeding insects, similar to other members of the Hemiptera order.

While grasshoppers and planthoppers may share some similarities in terms of their feeding habits and ecological roles as plant-feeding insects, they are distinct groups with different physical characteristics and behaviors. It’s important to note that the vast majority of grasshoppers do not possess the leaf-like appearance and hopping behavior that planthoppers are known for.