Definition of Orthoptera in US English:


plural noun

  • 1An order of insects that comprises the grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, etc. They have a saddle-shaped thorax, hind legs that are typically long and modified for jumping, and a characteristic song that the male produces by stridulation.

    • ‘Their main insect prey include: Orthoptera (grasshoppers and relatives), Hymenoptera (they eat ants only within this group), Coleoptera and larval Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths).’
    • ‘Other orders (e.g. Orthoptera; grasshoppers) became very abundant and some appeared for the first time in the Permian.’
    • ‘The polymorphism is common in many insect groups, most notably the Hemiptera / Homoptera (waterstriders, planthoppers and aphids), Coleoptera and, Orthoptera (crickets and grasshoppers).’
    • ‘It affects only insects of the group Orthoptera, like grasshoppers and locusts, and not honey bees, beetles, or other potentially beneficial species.’
    • ‘In insects the Orthoptera (especially grasshoppers), and in crustaceans the Decapoda (especially caridean shrimps), Stomatopoda (mantis shrimps) and calanoid Copepoda, are the only groups to far exceed a typically small range.’
    1. 1.1 Insects of the order Orthoptera.
      ‘the wings of living orthoptera’
      • ‘We gauged prey size relative to the width of the parent's bill and categorized prey as < 0.6 cm (S = small), 1 cm (M = medium), 2 cm or larger (L = large, usually large orthoptera or large lepidopteran larvae), or none, seed, or bread.’


Modern Latin (plural), from ortho- ‘straight’ + Greek pteros ‘wing’.