Narrowwinged Damselfly

Grasshoppers, Katydids, Crickets, Mantids, Walkingsticks, and Cockroaches: Order Orthoptera

Identification: Usually 2 pairs of wings: FW long, narrow, many-veined, and somewhat thickened (called tegmina); HW membranous, broad, with many veins, and folded fanwise at rest under FW; 1 or both pairs of wings sometimes small or absent. Antennae many-segmented, often long and hairlike. Cerci present, sometimes short and clasperlike, sometimes long and feelerlike. $ usually has ovipositor, which may be long and slender or short. Tarsi generally 3- to 5-segmented. Mouth parts chewing. Metamorphosis simple.

Similar orders: (1) Coleoptera (p. 146): FW thickened but vein-less; cerci lacking; antennae rarely with more than 11 segments; HW longer than FW, with relatively few veins and not folded fanwise at rest. (2) Hemiptera (p. 112): mouth parts sucking; FW usually with base thickened and tip membranous; HW with few veins; antennae with 5 or fewer segments. (3) Dermaptera (p. 98): FW thickened but short; cerci forcepslike. (4) Homoptera (p. 128) (hoppers): rarely over 12 mm.; mouth parts sucking; antennae short and bristlelike. (5) Isoptera (p. 88): FW and HW of winged forms similar in size and shape, HW not folded at rest; cerci short and inconspicuous; antennae short, threadlike, or beadlike; tarsi 4-segmented.

Immature stages: Similar to adult but wings short or absent. Habits: Many Orthoptera "sing" by rubbing one body part against another. Long-horned grasshoppers (p. 80) and crickets (p. 82) rub a sharp edge {scraper) of one front wing over a filelike ridge {file) on underside of other front wing. Slant-faced grasshoppers rub hind legs against the tegmina. Band-winged grasshoppers snap hind wings in flight. Males generally do the singing; females of a few species produce soft noises. Song most often heard ("calling" song) functions mainly in getting the sexes together. Each species has a distinctive song and some Orthoptera can produce more than one type of sound.

Importance: Most orthopterans are plant feeders and some are very destructive to cultivated plants; a few species sometimes increase to enormous numbers and migrate long distances, completely destroying large areas of crops on the way. A few are pre-daceous and a few rather omnivorous. Some orthopterans (like cockroaches) may be pests in buildings.

Classification: Six suborders, separated chiefly by characters of legs, antennae, body form, and ovipositor.

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