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Crickets Grasshoppers and Katydids: Orthoptera

Conservation Status

Seventy-four species of orthopterans are listed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).


A single swarm of desert locusts might contain up to ten billion insects and weigh up to 77,161 tons (70,000 metric tons). In 1794 a massive swarm that spread over 1,930.5 square miles (5,000 square kilometers) was blown out to sea and drowned off the western coast of South Africa. A 4-foot (1.2 meters) deep wall of dead insects soon washed up along 50 miles (80 kilometers) of coastline.

Two of these species, the central valley grasshopper and Antioch dunes shieldback, are listed as Extinct, or no longer alive. The Oahu deceptor bush cricket is listed as Extinct in the Wild, or alive only in an artificial environment. Eight species are listed as Critically Endangered, another eight as Endangered, and 50 more species are listed as Vulnerable. Critically Endangered means facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. Endangered means facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild, and Vulnerable means facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

The single most important threat to all orthoptrans is habitat destruction. This is especially true for species that are found only in small geographic areas. The introduction of ants, cats, and rats, especially on islands such as New Zealand, is a serious threat to many orthopteran species.

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