1 minute read

Crickets Grasshoppers and Katydids: Orthoptera

Orthopterans And People

Plagues of crickets and grasshoppers have invaded homes and ravaged crops for centuries.

In Africa and Asia locusts are still a serious threat to crops, but the problem has decreased over the years as scientists now have a better understanding of reasons for their population explosions and have developed various control measures. However, once the swarms become airborne, there is little that can be done to stop them. A promising fungal disease in locusts has proven to provide yet another way of controlling them without using dangerous and expensive chemicals. Other species of locusts, Mormon crickets, and some katydids are sometimes serious agricultural pests in the western United States.

In many parts of the world orthopterans are important in the human diet and are sometimes considered to be a real treat. Tribal people in southern Africa eat locusts boiled or roasted, and grilled locusts are often consumed in Cambodia. Mole crickets and some armored katydids are also eaten in some parts of Africa.

Katydids and crickets are very popular in poetry and other arts of China and Japan. Both Chinese and Japanese families vacation in summer to areas with lots singing insects. The Japanese have long appreciated their calls in the wild and often keep them indoors in special cages as pets. Today, selling caged singing crickets and katydids is a thriving business in China, and the Japanese have even designed a digital replica of the katydid's call.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceInsects and SpidersCrickets Grasshoppers and Katydids: Orthoptera - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Orthopterans And People, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE