Difference Between Locust and Grasshopper (With Table)

Locust and grasshopper are insects that belong to the order
Orthoptera. Both of these insects are herbivorous, have short ovipositors, two
short antennae, long legs, and strong mandibles. They also have two front wings
and two membranous and fully developed wings in the back.

While locusts and grasshoppers have quite a similar appearance
but they have a vividly different pattern of behavior. Locust is also a type of
grasshopper, generally called short-horned grasshoppers. Grasshoppers, as the
name suggests, hop for movement while locusts fly.

While the appearance might be deceptive, there still are a lot of distinguishing factors between them.

Locust vs Grasshopper

The main difference between Locust and Grasshopper is their behavioral pattern. From their state of existence, adaptability, colors, suborder, they are quite different.


Comparison Table Between Locust and Grasshopper (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of comparison




A locust is a type of grasshopper that has the ability to change color and behavior while swarming.

A grasshopper belongs to the group of jumping insects that feeds on grass.

Lower Classification

A locust belongs to the suborder Caelifera.

A Grasshopper belongs to the family of Acrididae.

Number of Families

Locust has a single-family.

A grasshopper has about 28 distinct families.


The size of a locust is smaller than that of a grasshopper.

The size of a grasshopper is comparatively large and can even exceed up to 11 centimeters.


A locust is a type of a grasshopper that turns gregarious and can change its color, shape as well as fertility.

A grasshopper is a plant-eating insect that can leap 20 times its own body’s length.


Locusts are found to be solitary insects that merge into swarms during favorable situations.

A grasshopper is specifically a solitary insect.


Generally, a locust is brown in color. However, an immature gregarious locust is pink in color and turns to yellow when it matures.

Grasshoppers are mostly found in green olive or brown color.

Coverage Distance

A locust can cover vast distances in its lifetime.

A grasshopper comparatively covers a very small distance.


A locust can fly as well as a hop.

A grasshopper can only hop.


A locust can feed on crops and vegetation, which mostly causes a lot of damage to crops.

A grasshopper feeds on grass.


What is Locust?

A locust is basically a type of grasshopper which is short-horned and is known to migrate in huge swarms. A locust belongs to the order Orthoptera and the suborder Acrididae.

It has a single-family, and it is known to exhibit gregarious behavior. They have a similar morphological structure as that of a grasshopper.

Locust is one of the species of grasshoppers which has the ability to transform its habitat and behavior while swarming in huge numbers.

Generally, they are solitary, but during favorable conditions, these get organized into huge swarms, thereby becoming gregarious. In this state, they transform their body-shape, form, color, state of fertility, and behavior.

They are basically found in brown color, but during their gregarious stage, they can be found in pink or yellow color according to maturity.

They have wings and can fly up to huge distances in their migratory phase. These insects generally thrive on crops and vegetations for their existence.


What is Grasshopper?

Grasshoppers are simple plant-eating insects that belong to the order Orthoptera and the suborder Caelifera.

They have around 28 families, and their size ranges from 1 to 7 centimeters in length. The female grasshoppers are mostly found to be of larger size than men. They are found in green, olive, gray, and brown colors.

This insect can leap up to 20 times their own body’s length but do not cover very long distances as they can only hop.

A grasshopper has around 11,0000 different species found around the globe. They can be found everywhere in the world except for the polar regions. 

They have two pairs of wings, tapering flexible ones at the front and broad membranous ones at the back. They are mostly found in meadows as they feed on grasses and can eat up to 16 times their own weight.

If a grasshopper is of vibrant colors, they might feed on toxic plants to store those toxins in their bodies.

Main Differences Between Locust and Grasshopper

  1. Every locust is a short-horned grasshopper. However, every grasshopper is not a locust.
  2. A locust belongs to the suborder Caelifera, whereas a grasshopper belongs to the suborder Acrididae,
  3. Locusts have a single family, while grasshoppers have around 28 families.
  4. A locust has the ability to fly and hop. But a grasshopper can only hop.
  5. A locust can change its shape, color, state of fertility, as well as their behavior of survival. However, a grasshopper is mostly incapable of the same.
  6. Generally, locusts can merge into huge swarms during favorable conditions while grasshopper stays solitary.
  7. Locusts can travel comparatively much larger distances than a grasshopper.
  8. A locust can exist in a migratory as well as a gregarious state, while a grasshopper cannot do the same.
  9. A locust is found in brown color, but a gregarious locust is pink when immature and yellow when mature. A grasshopper, on the other hand, is found in green or brown color.
  10. A locust can feed on crops and vegetation while a grasshopper feeds only on grass.



Both locust and grasshopper belong to the same order, Orthoptera, and thus have similar morphological structures. While they have quite similar appearances, they have quite distinguishing behavioral patterns.

Locusts are short-horned grasshoppers that have the ability to transform their shape, color, fertility as they turn gregarious.  However, grasshoppers are simple grass-eating insects that can leap up to 20 times their own length.

Their migrating and swarming nature, distance coverage, and their behavior make them completely different from each other.

Both of these are capable of ruining huge plantations and thus are highly potential pests.



  1. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19921175487
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3503459
  3. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a3be/48daf15e48ac2674cfc9367a9642f2071a5d.pdf