How to tell the difference between grasshoppers and crickets

Meadow grasshopper by Alan Garnsworthy

Grassland and heathland are buzzing at this time of year, but is it a grasshopper or a cricket you can see? Get some top tips to work it out!

Grasshoppers and crickets are part of the order Orthoptera, which means straight wing in Greek. This order also includes cone-heads, ground hoppers and locusts. There are thousands of orthoptera species in the world, most of these are found in the tropics, but there are about 50 found in Great Britain.

There are many similarities between grasshoppers and crickets, for example

  • very long hind legs for jumping
  • both produce songs to attract females
  • similar life cycles, with no pupal stage

but there are also some differences, which can help you work out if you've spotted a grasshopper or cricket.

Dark_Bush_Cricket

Dark bush-cricket by Philip Precey

Bush-crickets

  • Very long antennae
  • Bodies usually more chunky
  • Female bush-crickets have long ovipositors for laying eggs
  • High-pitched and long-lasting songs

Explore some of our bush-crickets

Meadow_grasshopper

Meadow grasshopper by Margaret Holland

Grasshoppers

  • Short, segmented antennae
  • Slim bodied
  • Female grasshoppers have short ovipositor

Explore some of our grasshoppers

See more grasshoppers and bush-crickets

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