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Orthoptera comprises more than 20000 species worldwide and 1044 species in Europe belonging to two suborders, Caelifera (grasshoppers) and Ensifera (katydids). This group of median-sized insects is well characterized by (1) long hind legs modified for jumping; (2) hardened, leathery forewings (tegmina) which are spread in flight and covering membranous hindwings at rest; (3) unsegmented cerci; and (4), a pronotum usually with large descending lateral lobes. Orthopterans are common in most terrestrial habitats, but are more diverse in the tropics. They are mostly phytophagous and include some outstanding agricultural pests (locusts and certain katydids).


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© Jean-Yves Rasplus & Alain Roques

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