Friday, June 12, 2009

The Shell Game

Working in the garden this morning, I came upon this very small grasshopper shell. It’s rather ghostly, I think.


I have seen their leaf damage and, occasionally, see the grasshoppers themselves.

I have found many, many cicada shells in my time but never a grasshopper. So until I found this shell, I had given no thought to how they grow. Off to Google I went. It turns out that they are like many other insects: they grow and shed their old skin when it gets too tight. The old exoskeleton is what I have found.  Some grasshoppers go through six stages of adult development, each time growing into a larger grasshopper, all within three months of hatching from eggs in the ground.

1 comment:

NCmountainwoman said...

I remember finding them when I was a kid and played in the grass all summer. Nice photo. I haven't seen one in many years.