What Do Grasshoppers Eat?

Walking through a backyard in the spring and summer, you’re likely to spy a bright green grasshopper springing across your path. These medium-to-large insects have two pairs of wings and long back legs used for hopping. Special mouthparts called mandibles and molars are used for cutting and grinding. Grinding what, though? What do grasshoppers eat? Keep reading to learn more!

What’s on Grasshopper’s Plate?

Download this free nature activity for kids
from The Good and the Beautiful!

What Do Grasshoppers Eat?

Most grasshoppers are herbivores, which means they eat plants. Given a choice of any plant in their environment, grasshoppers seem to prefer crops like rye, barley, cotton, corn, alfalfa, and wheat. 

Farmers usually do not want these green guys around—grasshoppers can eat up to 16 times their body weight in crops each day!

Even though grasshoppers like to eat crops, they aren’t picky. If they can’t find their favorite grain to munch on, grasshoppers will also eat grasses, flowers, and leaves. If even those can’t be found, grasshoppers resort to eating less nutritious moss, fungi, and bark. 

Find out what happens when a hungry grasshopper meets hard-working ants preparing the fall harvest. All the insects learn lessons of forgiveness and hard work.

Click here to enjoy this video book for kids based on Aesop’s classic tale.

What Eats a Grasshopper? 

Because of their size and tendency to eat only plants, grasshoppers rank pretty low on the food chain, making them a tasty snack for predators such as birds, snakes, mice, frogs, and lizards. 

Grasshoppers do have a way to discourage these animals from feasting on them: eating toxic plants and storing the toxins in their bodies. 

Graphic of dots in a line -1B
Graphic of dots in a line -1B

Grasshopper vs. Cricket 

Grasshoppers are distantly related to another hopping insect, the cricket. Although they share the feature of large, strong back legs, crickets and grasshoppers differ in their food preferences. Crickets are omnivores, feeding on meat and plants. Some of their favorites include insect larvae, aphids, grasses, leaves, seeds, fruit, flowers, and decaying plant matter. 

There are other differences between grasshoppers and crickets. Grasshoppers are larger and green, while crickets are smaller and black. Grasshoppers prefer grazing in the daylight, while crickets busily chirp at night. Learn about other differences between the two insects here.

Now that you know what grasshoppers like to eat, click below to download our free printable activity for kids and help feed the grasshopper! 

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  • Bethany

    My son wants to learn about bugs this school year!

  • Izzy

    I love this website even my kids love this site this is what they all do in their free time. And I really of them. Specially when it was my daughter’s wedding it was awesome. 🙂

  • Harper Danyeeil Bitton

    it’s a good thing that we have information about grass hoppers but it is a little short and i would like to learn more

    • Customer Support

      Thank you for your interest in our Science courses, Harper! In addition to Science for Little Hearts and Hands: Fields and Flowers, we also offer an Arthropods course designed for children in grades 3-8. Hands-on activities, engaging videos, vocabulary words, beautiful illustrations and images, along with engaging information is found throughout the open-and-go course.

  • Kayleigh

    We love this download, my five year old is always asking about how certain bugs and animals fit into God’s purpose… like what do grasshoppers do to help our earth? How come there are ants that bite!!!? It’s crazy how their little minds works. As a parent I truly appreciate stuff like this … it’s gives simple answers but with understanding for my kiddo. Thank you ☺️

  • E.M.

    I am 10 and me and my bro made a Terrarium for grasshoppers!!!