An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Where Do Grasshoppers Go In Winter?

1-19-17-red-legged-grasshopper2-img_4112Everyone knows that grasshoppers disappear once cold weather arrives. Where do they go and what is their strategy for surviving the winter?  Most grasshoppers overwinter as eggs.  They mate, lay eggs and die in the fall. The female Red-legged Grasshopper, New England’s most abundant species of grasshopper, deposits clusters of eggs one to two inches deep in the soil in the late summer and early fall. During this process, a glue-like secretion cements soil particles around the egg mass, forming a protective “pod.” Each pod is roughly three-quarters to one-inch long and curved. The top third is dried froth, the bottom two-thirds contain 20 to 26 eggs. Each egg is just over 1/10th of an inch long and pale yellow.

In the spring, nymphs hatch out of the eggs, crawl up to the surface of the soil and start to feed on grasses and other herbaceous plants. It takes about three months for them to mature and begin the cycle all over again. (Photo: gravid female Red-legged Grasshopper  in late summer)

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7 responses

  1. Alice Pratt

    That’s a wonderful photo! Late fall, on a walk, my daughter & just 2 year old grand daughter & I saw a very large, brown grasshopper & were wondering what happened to them in winter.

    January 19, 2017 at 8:19 am

    • Most mate in the fall, lay eggs and die. The eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring.

      December 4, 2017 at 4:45 pm

  2. Fascinating! Thank you – I never knew that.

    January 19, 2017 at 9:07 am

  3. Terrific photo – she’s armor-plated!

    January 19, 2017 at 8:17 pm

  4. Mo

    My grasshopper Peaches just died. She came back on my porch to die. I think she was about a year old. I think she died of natural causes. Will her babies be in my garden this spring?

    December 4, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    • Very likely they’ll be in the garden or nearby!

      December 4, 2017 at 4:45 pm

  5. Elizabeth Skall

    I have one living on my.curtain its alive and bern there over a month I just wonder how it eats

    December 4, 2019 at 11:57 am

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