The grasshopper is a specimen that you can keep for a long time in the preservative it ships with. I usually order mine from Carolina or other supply companies. External features of the legs, head and body are easy to identify, but the internal anatomy is difficult for beginners. I usually do not have a formal dissection plan for the internal anatomy but do allow students to explore it if they want. The main goal of this lab is for students to become familiar with arthropod features, such as the exosketon, jointed appendages, and body segments.


If you want to adjust any elements of this worksheet, download the .doc file and use word (or other program) to change it to suit your needs.

PreLab Questions (answers)

1. Grasshoppers belong to the Kingdom ____Animalia________, the Phylum __Arthropoda____, the Subphylum ___Uniramia___, and the Class _____Insecta_____

*insect taxonomy has changed over the years, depending on your textbook publication year, you may have a different answer here.

2. Use what you know about classification to determine which of the following pairs is MOST closely related.
[ Grasshopper & Crayfish ] or [ Grasshopper & Spider ] or [ Grasshopper & Housefly ] * both are insects
3. What kind of skeleton does a grasshopper have?__________exoskeleton______________

Anatomy of the Grasshopper - use specimens or pictures to examine a grasshopper, check the boxes as you complete each step.

checkbox5. Locate the segments on the abdomen. How many segments does your grasshopper have? ___6-7______ Compare this number to other grasshoppers in the class. Do they all have the same number of segments? ___all same_____

checkbox6. Note the thorax. It is the center area to which all appendages attach. The hard covering of the thorax is called the carapace.

checkbox7. Locate the antenna. Is the antennae branched or unbranched? __unbranched____ How many antennae are there? _1 pair

checkbox8. Locate the compound eyes. How many eyes does the grasshopper have? _2____

checkbox9. Locate the grasshopper's legs.

To what part of the body are they attached? ____thorax___ (head, thorax, or abdomen).
How many pairs of legs does the grasshopper have? _____3 pairs______
How many jumping legs are there ? ____1 pair_____ How many walking legs? ___2 pair_

checkbox10. Notice the claws at the end of the legs. Do both sets of legs have these claws? yes__

checkbox11. Locate the wings of the grasshopper. There are actually two sets of wings- one on the top and one underneath. The top wing is called the forewing and the bottom wing is called the hindwing. Which wing seems the most fragile? ______hindwing______

grasshopper head12. Turn the grasshopper over and view the mouthparts.

checkboxFind the outside most plate (like an upper lip) which is called the labrum, its opposite is the lower plate (lower lip) called the labium.
checkbox The moveable mouthparts that look like antennae are the maxilla. Locate them.
checkbox The mandible is located under the maxilla and is used for chewing. Does the mandible open from top to bottom or from side to side? __side to side_____

Label the labrum, maxilla, and mandibles on the picture. Also label the compound eyes and antennae.

checkbox13. Raise the wings to find the disk shaped tympanum underneath. The tympanum functions as an eardrum. How many tympanum are found on the grasshopper? __2__

checkbox14. Look at the abdomen and fine the row of holes along it; these are the spiracles and they function in respiration (breathing). How many spiracles do you count? __7-8, one per segment


15. The sex of the grasshopper can be determined by looking at the lest segment of the abdomen. Females have a large pair of pointy structures called the ovipositor, which are used to deposit eggs into soil. Is you grasshopper a male or a female? ________


students can color this any color they like, just check to be sure that the boxes (key) match the structure below. Alternately, you can pick the colors for them, either write on the board or edit this lab document.