Orthoptera: Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids

(from the Greek: orthos = straight + ptera = wings)Cricket & Grasshoppers

Orthoptera include crickets, grasshoppers, katydids, and other medium- to large-sized insects with incomplete metamorphosis and jumping legs. Some Orthoptera are wingless, but most have 2 pairs of wings. When there are 2 pairs of wings, the front wings are usually leathery or parchment-like in texture. The hind wings are membranous and folded (like a fan) underneath the front wings. The front pair of wings (called “tegmina”) are straight and narrow, which is the basis for the scientific name of this order. The antennae of Orthoptera are long; in many cases, longer than the rest of the body.

Mole cricket, Katydid, & Tree Cricket

Note: In some insect keys, the Orthoptera also includes praying mantids, walking sticks, and cockroaches. In this key, and for 4-H judging purposes, these insects are treated as separate orders.Remember this when identifying insects using other keys.