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Grasshopper Facts

John Pohly, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension

If you've ever wondered how a grasshopper can cover so much ground and do so much damage, just consider the insect's eyes.

Located on the head, along with antennae and chewing mouth parts, are two kinds of eyes. Large "compound" eyes consist of thousands of little eyes that work together to form a single picture in the grasshopper's brain. If you've ever tried to catch a grasshopper, you know how difficult it can be. That's because these eyes enable the insect to see forward, backward and sideways for long distances. Grasshoppers also have three small single eyes.

Just how much impact can a grasshopper have? Here's what some research says:

* Grasshoppers consume green forage roughly eight times as fast in proportion to their weight as beef animals on good range.

* Grasshoppers cut binder twine, eat holes in clothing hanging out to dry, invade homes and pollute water from springs or wells.

* Trains have been delayed because they could not run at regular speed on tracks made slippery by crushed grasshoppers

Photo: Judy Sedbrook

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010