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What is the scientific classification of the grasshopper?

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Quick Answer

The grasshopper belongs to the order Orthoptera and the suborder Caelifera. The suborder Caelifera separates grasshoppers from the katydid and cricket.

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Full Answer

The classification of the grasshopper begins with the domain Eukarya encompassing all eukaryotic cells. Animalia is the kingdom with the taxon being multicellular, eukaryotic and heterotropic. Grasshoppers are then divided into phylum Arthropoda, meaning "joint foot." Arthropods are invertebrates with segmented bodies, exoskeletons, jointed appendages and bilateral symmetry. Arthropods evolved in the Cambrian period 500 to 600 million years ago.

Grasshoppers are organized into the class Insecta from the Latin "cut into pieces." As such, all insects have three main body parts, namely the head, thorax and abdomen. Taxons under Insecta also have a pair of antennae, compound eyes, two pairs of wings, three pairs of legs, complex mouth parts and take part in metamorphosis.

Orthoptera is the order with the Latin root meaning "straight wing." The order evolved more than 300 million years ago with enlarged hind legs, mandibulate mouthparts and large compound eyes. Grasshoppers are then placed in the suborder Caelifera with specific characteristics such as the length of antennae and ovipositors, as well as feeding habits and location of the auditory organs, distinguishing the suborder from the katydid and cricket.

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