Grasshopper Development

From Embryology



There is available a USDA and the Agricultural Research Service field guide that describes development in the western grasshopper.[1]

Some Recent Findings

  • Embryonic development of the insect central complex: insights from lineages in the grasshopper and Drosophila[2] "The neurons of the insect brain derive from neuroblasts which delaminate from the neuroectoderm at stereotypic locations during early embryogenesis. In both grasshopper and Drosophila, each developing neuroblast acquires an intrinsic capacity for neuronal proliferation in a cell autonomous manner and generates a specific lineage of neural progeny which is nearly invariant and unique. Maps revealing numbers and distributions of brain neuroblasts now exist for various species, and in both grasshopper and Drosophila four putatively homologous neuroblasts have been identified whose progeny direct axons to the protocerebral bridge and then to the central body via an equivalent set of tracts. Lineage analysis in the grasshopper nervous system reveals that the progeny of a neuroblast maintain their topological position within the lineage throughout embryogenesis. We have taken advantage of this to study the pioneering of the so-called w, x, y, z tracts, to show how fascicle switching generates central body neuroarchitecture, and to evaluate the roles of so-called intermediate progenitors as well as programmed cell death in shaping lineage structure."



Historic drawing of stages in the spermatogenesis of a grasshopper (Stenobothrus viridulus)

Grasshopper Lifecycle

Grasshopper lifecycle.jpg

Grasshopper Development



Grasshopper Heart

Grasshopper heart 01.jpg

Flow visualization in the heart of a grasshopper (Schistocerca americana) using synchrotron x-ray phase-contrast imaging.[3]


  1. RE. Pfadt, Field Guide to Common Western Grasshoppers 3rd edn Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 912 February 2002 University of Wyoming USDA and the Agricultural Research Service - PDF
  2. <pubmed>21382507</pubmed>
  3. <pubmed>19272159</pubmed>| BMC Physiol.


<pubmed>12642623</pubmed> <pubmed>11112183</pubmed>


<pubmed>18590599</pubmed> <pubmed>18089112</pubmed> <pubmed>17311046</pubmed>

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  • acrididae - a family of insects that comprise the grasshoppers with short antennae, short ovipositor, and tarsi of legs three-segmented.
  • blastokinesis - active movement of the grasshopper embryo by which it passes from the ventral to the dorsal side of the egg and at the same time revolves 180 degrees on its long axis.
  • brood - all the individuals that hatch at about one time from eggs laid by one series of parents and that normally mature at about the same time; a group of individuals of a species that have hatched into young or have become adult at approximately the same time, and live together in a defined and limited area, and they may be of different generations.
  • chorionic sculpturing - a network pattern on the chorion (shell) of the insect egg.
  • complete metamorphosis - metamorphosis through which the insect develops by four distinct stages: egg, larva, pupa, adult.
  • diapause - a state of low metabolic activity mediated hormonally and associated with ceased growth, reduced activity, and increased resistance to environmental extremes.
  • eclosion - the hatching of the larva or nymph from its egg.
  • egg pod - a case made of grasshopper gluelike secretions and soil particles enclosing a clutch of grasshopper eggs.
  • fledge - acquisition of the adult wings.
  • gradual metamorphosis - metamorphosis through which the insect develops by three distinct stages, namely egg, nymph, adult.
  • instar - the immature insect between two successive molts.
  • larva - (pl., larvae) the immature insect hatched from the egg and up to the pupal stage in orders with complete metamorphosis, e.g., a caterpillar.
  • metamorphosis - the change of body form through which insects pass in developing to the adult.
  • nymph - an immature insect of species with gradual metamorphosis.
  • ovipositor - in grasshoppers the paired digging and egg laying structures at the end of the female abdomen
  • ovipositor valves - three pair of digging and egg laying structures at the end of the abdomen in female grasshoppers.
  • preoviposition period - the period between molting to the adult and the laying of the first group of eggs; in grasshoppers the period normally lasts one to two weeks.
  • pupa - (pl., pupae) the stage between the larva and the adult in insects with complete metamorphosis; a nonfeeding stage in which adult structures develop and grow.
  • seasonal cycle - the timing of the periods of egg hatch, nymphal development, adulthood, and reproduction.
  • stadium (pl., stadia) - the time period between two successive molts of larvae or nymphs.
  • subgenital plate - in the male grasshopper the terminal ventral plate underlying the genitalia.
  • threshold - the temperature or level of hormone concentration that must be reached before development or growth can begin.

Based on: RE. Pfadt, Field Guide to Common Western Grasshoppers 3rd edn Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 912 February 2002 University of Wyoming USDA and the Agricultural Research Service - PDF

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2020, October 20) Embryology Grasshopper Development. Retrieved from

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