Locust vs Grasshopper – Difference and Comparison

What is Locust?

Locusts are a type of grasshopper that is found in Africa, Asia, and The Middle East, where they mostly live in the deserts. They are known for their destructive swarming behavior. At certain times in a year when there is a high population, they secrete a chemical called serotonin.

Locusts are brown or green in color and have a wingspan of about 3 inches. A locust will eat almost anything it can find, which includes plants, crops, and even other insects during seasons when food is scarce.

The lifespan of a locust is 2-3 months on average, and its reproduction rate is very high. Female locusts dig a shallow hole in the soil about 50 or 60 mm and lay 50 -100 eggs at a time which are hard-shelled and greenish in color. The eggs are laid in clumps or small groups that resemble sand grains.

Locusts are not grasshoppers, although they look similar. They have caused havoc in many regions when they move in swarms eating all the crops on farms leaving huge populations without food.

What is Grasshopper?

Grasshoppers are also a type of insect that is found in most places worldwide, in temperate regions. They look very similar to locusts, but they don’t swarm, nor do they eat as much as locusts do. Grasshoppers have the same coloration as locusts, but they only have a wingspan of 2 inches on average.

Grasshoppers mainly eat plant parts like leaves and fruits, which makes them less destructive than locusts, who will consume anything they can find, including crops and any vegetation they find on their way.

They are a type of insect that is found on every continent and in many different habitats. They are brownish-green in the desert, but they turn black when they are found in cooler climates.

Grasshoppers have strong hind legs and can jump very high, up to 30 inches, and 20 times their own length. They will jump to avoid predators or to catch their prey. They use their front legs to push off and make the jump.

Their wings are held out during flight, but they also help them jump, as they will spread them out like a parachute. The front wings of a locust act as a hinge.

Difference Between Locust and Grasshopper

Grasshoppers are insects of the family Acrididae, of the order Orthoptera. They have a long hind leg called a femur which is used for jumping and for holding on to plants.

Grasshoppers are known for their jumping abilities. They have a jumping mechanism called the “tarsus,” which helps them jump high and far.

Locusts are also insects but belong to the family Acrididae, of the order Orthoptera as well, but differ from grasshoppers because they don’t use their hind legs for jumping and instead use their front wings to fly.

Comparison Between Locust and Grasshopper

Parameter of ComparisonLocustGrasshopper
Brain sizeIncreases during the gregarious phase.Does not change.
DefenseThey regurgitate and release bad smells that chase away the enemy.They release a poison that makes their enemy sick.
Species19 species that live in the deserts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.11,000 species and found almost anywhere in the world
LivingDuring dry seasons they emit a chemical that helps them acquire social tendencies and move in groups – swarms.They live solitary lives.
ColorCan change to yellow during swarming.Color does not change.