Crickets vs Grasshoppers: 9 Main Differences Revealed

Written by Heather Hall
Updated: October 16, 2023
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Size is the most significant difference between these two insects. An adult grasshopper is larger than an adult cricket. In terms of color, the average grasshopper is green while crickets are black or brown. These insects have different eating habits. Crickets are omnivores whereas grasshoppers are herbivores. While both insects make noise, they each create sound in a different way.

Do both insects have wings? Which insect can jump farther? Are they both active at the same time of day? Learn the answers to your questions about crickets vs grasshoppers along with other intriguing facts about these tiny jumping insects!

Comparing Crickets vs Grasshoppers

Max. Length:4.5 inches plus2 inches
Color:Green, brownBlack, brown
Vocalization:Chirping noise made by hind leg rubbing on wingChirping noise made by wings rubbing together
Activity Period:DayNight
Antennae:Short and stubbyLong and wispy
Lifespan:12 months8 to 10 weeks
Species11,000 plus2,400 plus
Jumping Distance:2.6 feet3 feet

The 9 Key Differences Between Crickets vs Grasshoppers

1. Length

Crickets can be as long as two inches or as short as three-eighths of an inch depending on their species. Alternatively, some species of grasshopper grow to a length of 4.5 inches while others measure just half an inch. Generally speaking, crickets are smaller than grasshoppers.

2. Color

Crickets are usually black or dark brown. However, there are some crickets that are green like the Great green bush cricket. Usually, grasshoppers are green. Some of them are brown or green with brown markings. The spur-throated grasshopper is one of the most common species in North America. It’s bright green with brown on its wings.

3. Sound

While both insects make a high-pitched chirping sound, they do it in different ways. Both insects have wings and use them in making a chirping noise. Crickets chirp by rubbing their wings together. Alternatively, a grasshopper makes a chirping sound by rubbing one of its hind legs against the front part of its wing.

Males make a chirping sound to attract female crickets. This is true for male grasshoppers as well. However, there’s a difference. Female grasshoppers can chirp, but they don’t do it as much as males. Female crickets aren’t able to make a chirping noise.

4. Diet

Crickets are omnivores. They eat aphids, bug larvae, seeds, grass, fruit, and flowers. Grasshoppers are herbivores eating plant stems, flowers, and seeds.

5. Activity Period

These two insects are active at different times. Grasshoppers can be seen outside jumping and moving around during the day. They are out looking for flowers and stems to eat. Crickets sleep during the day and are active at night. So, if you hear chirping somewhere in your room or home at night, it’s most likely a cricket!

6. Antennae

While antennae are part of the anatomy of both crickets and grasshoppers, there is a basic difference. A cricket’s antennae are long. In many cases, a cricket’s antennae are just as long as its body. Look at a grasshopper’s antennae and you’ll notice they are stubby and short.

In addition to using their antennae as ‘feelers’ to navigate their surroundings, crickets use them to fight. Two males fight for a female by pressing their antennae together as well as biting one another. At the end of the fight, the most powerful male mates with the female.

7. Lifespan

A grasshopper’s lifespan goes up to 12 months. A cricket’s average lifespan is 8-10 weeks. Of course, the typical lifespan of each of these insects depends on its species.

8. Species

When it comes to the types of species, grasshoppers far outnumber crickets. There are over 11,000 species of grasshopper. Scientists believe there are many more types of grasshoppers around the world that haven’t been discovered yet! As for crickets, there are over 2,400 species in existence. Both of these insects live throughout the world except in Antarctica.

9. Jumping Distance

Both grasshoppers and crickets can jump a long distance. This is especially impressive if you consider how little they are. But which one can jump the farthest? The winner is the cricket! A cricket is able to jump 3 feet while a grasshopper can jump a distance of 2.6 feet.

Here is a Summary of the Key Differences between the Cricket and the Grasshopper:

Jumping Distance3 feet2.6 feet
Number of species2,400 secies11,000 species
Lifespan8-10 weeks12 months
Antennae LengthAs long as the bodyshort and stubby
Activity PeriodNightDay
DietOmnivores. They eat aphids, bug larvae, seeds, grass, fruit, and flowers.Herbivores. They eat plant stems, flowers, and seeds.
Soundhigh-pitched chirpinghigh-pitched chirping
Colorblack and browngreen and brown
SizeCrickets can be as long as two inches or as short as three-eighths of an inch depending on their species.Some species of grasshopper grow to a length of 4.5 inches while others measure just half an inch.

Bonus: Are Grasshoppers the Same as Locusts?

Locust swarms then migrate across vast areas causing almost complete destruction to all green vegetation, especially agricultural crops.

Swarms of locusts can number in the millions.

©CSIRO, CC BY 3.0 – License

We’ve thoroughly investigated the similarities and differences between crickets and grasshoppers. But there’s one particular insect that can strike fear into the hearts of farmers, or any human in their path–the locust. Are grasshoppers and locusts one and the same, or are they different?

It may sound weird to discover that a locust is a type of grasshopper, but on the other hand, a grasshopper is not a locust. Both of these insects are in the same order Orthoptera. But within the suborders, the locust is in the Acrididae suborder, while grasshoppers are in the Caelifera suborder.

Locusts differ from grasshoppers in that they vacillate between migrating in large groups that can count in the millions and feeding. They are very destructive and can decimate crops. While there is a migratory type of grasshopper, generally, grasshoppers do not migrate and are generally solitary.

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Heather Hall is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on plants and animals. Heather has been writing and editing since 2012 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, Heather enjoys hiking, gardening, and trail running through the mountains with her dogs.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the difference between a cricket vs a grasshopper?

The main feature that differentiates grasshoppers from crickets is size. Grasshoppers are longer than crickets. Another difference is most crickets are nocturnal while grasshoppers are active in the daytime. Grasshoppers are herbivores eating stems, flowers, and seeds. Crickets are omnivores with a diet of insect larvae, aphids, fruit, grass, and seeds.

Are crickets and grasshoppers the same?

No. They are two different types of insects with a few things in common.

Is a grasshopper bigger than a cricket?

Yes, grasshoppers are larger than crickets.

Will crickets eat grasshoppers?

Yes. Crickets are omnivores so they eat meat as well as plant life. They will eat grasshoppers both alive and dead.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.