Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University System
Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University

Order Orthoptera


The order Orthoptera is a large one. Orthoptera generally have two pairs of wings with many veins and range in size from 1/4 inch to 2 inches long. The front pair is usually slender and the hind pair is broad and fan-like. Wings are reduced to small pads in some grasshoppers and crickets. Mouthparts are formed for chewing. Nymphs resemble the adults. Antennae may be long and thread-like (crickets and katydids) or shorter (most grasshoppers). Front wings are generally elongate and the hind wings are usually wider. Wings may be held tent-like over the body or more flattened and overlapping (crickets). Hind legs are generally long and robust, fitted for jumping. Adults in several groups in this order never develop wings. These include such odd insects as the cave crickets.  Metamorphosis is gradual.

Some members of this group are quite destructive to crops (grasshoppers). Nearly all Orthoptera in Texas are plant feeders. However, a few are actually predaceous.

Insects in this order: Differential grasshopper, banded-winged grasshopper, katydid, 

See Orthoptera for a listing of all insects in this order.

Differential grasshopper, Melanoplus differentialis (Thomas). Photo by Drees.
Click on image to enlarge
Differential grasshopper,
Melanoplus differentialis (Thomas)
(Orthoptera: Acrididae).
Photo by Drees.

From the book:
Field Guide to Texas Insects,
Drees, B.M. and John Jackman,
Copyright 1999, Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, Texas

A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects, Bastiaan M. Drees and John A. Jackman.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University •  Department of Entomology  •  412 Heep Center, TAMU 2475
College Station, TX 77843-2475 • 979.845.2516
Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University