Grasshopper catching is a fun activity that you can do on your own or with other people, especially children.
Before going out to catch grasshoppers, you need to know exactly what you are looking for. Grasshoppers are green in color, ranging from dark to pale green and even brown. These colors help them blend into the vegetation and offer a perfect camouflage from predators and from you, the grasshopper catcher.
You may be catching grasshoppers for fun, to learn, or you may be catching them as bait for another activity like fishing.
Grasshopper Catching Gear
For you to successfully catch grasshoppers, you will need to do a lot of running around. Ensure that you are dressed lightly and remember to wear comfortable and closed shoes. A net is necessary to catch grasshoppers. Using your hands will not yield much, grasshoppers can move very quickly. You will also need a container to hold the grasshoppers that you catch in. You can use a glass jar, or a bug habitat from the store. Make sure your container grass and twigs so that your grasshoppers have food and twigs to climb onto. It might also be a good idea to get a grasshopper field guild so you can learn more about what you catch.
Where to Find Grasshoppers
Grasshoppers are mainly herbivorous and will therefore be found in places that have plenty of vegetation. Open areas with lots of tall grass are great hiding and feeding spots for grasshoppers. If you have a vegetable garden, you may occasionally catch grasshoppers roosting on leaves and munching on your alfalfa, broccoli, lettuce, celery, tomatoes and carrots; basically any juicy plant that can provide both food and water. They also eat oats, wheat and barley. In extremely dry weather, grasshoppers will also eat shrubs and trees. The long-horned grasshoppers also eat other insects.
How to Catch Grasshoppers
To catch grasshoppers, prepare a large jar where you will hold your catch. Ensure that you also have a piece of cloth and a rubber band. The piece of cloth should be one that allows the grasshoppers to breath. Walk very slowly and quietly behind the grasshoppers and attempt to catch them from behind. Position the net behind the target grasshopper. With a speedy sweep, catch the grasshopper and quickly cover the top so that your catch does not hop away. Drop the grasshopper into the holding jar and cover with the cloth. Fasten the cloth tightly with the rubber band.
Fun Grasshopper Facts
As interesting as it is to catch grasshoppers, there are also some interesting facts to learn about grasshoppers:
- A grasshopper can jump around twenty times the length of its own size.
- A grasshopper can eat its own weight in food in about sixteen hours.
- Grasshoppers hear with an organ called tympanum because they have no ears. The tympanum is located on the abdomen.
- You cannot find grasshoppers near the North and South poles.
- Male grasshoppers “sing” by chirping their legs onto different parts of their body. The songs are meant to attract females for mating or to warn other grasshoppers of danger.
- Grasshoppers can see in three different directions; forward, backward and sideways. This is made possible by five eyes, two large compound eyes and three smaller eyes.
- As a defense mechanism, a grasshopper will excrete a brown juice from its mouth when threatened.
- A grasshopper breathes through many holes on the sides of its body.
- Some people consider grasshoppers a delicacy. Some even coat them with chocolate and eat them as candy.