10 Animals That Eat Grasshoppers

Numerous predators, including birds of prey and amphibians, rely on grasshoppers as a key food source. These insects are an integral part of the food chain, providing sustenance for a variety of animals from different habitats.

1. Birds of Prey

Birds of prey are consummate hunters, using open fields as their ideal hunting grounds to seek out grasshoppers. They exhibit impressive agility and keen vision to capture these agile insects, demonstrating a fascinating aspect of the natural food chain.

Bird SpeciesHunting BehaviorTypical Habitat
HawksSwoop down from great heightsOpen fields and meadows
BlackbirdsForage on the groundGrasslands and agricultural areas
Blue JaysUse sharp beaks to nab insectsWoodlands and forest edges
BluebirdsPounce from perchesOpen woodlands and fields

2. Other Insects

In the diverse tapestry of the insect kingdom, there are species that turn to cannibalism, preying on grasshoppers despite their shared classification. This intriguing behavior highlights the complexity and ruthlessness of natural ecosystems.

  • The praying mantis is a formidable predator known for its patience and precision, capable of capturing and consuming grasshoppers with its strong forelegs.
  • Dragonflies are not only masters of the air but also efficient hunters, catching grasshoppers mid-flight or while they rest.
  • Robber flies, with their powerful flight and sharp beak, ambush and feed on grasshoppers, showcasing the intricate food web within the insect community.

3. Frogs

Image by Petar Milošević License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Amphibians like frogs and toads play a crucial role in controlling grasshopper populations, using their remarkable physiological adaptations to capture these insects effectively.

  • Frogs leverage their long, sticky tongues to snatch grasshoppers in a swift motion, seldom giving the prey a chance to escape.
  • Their keen sense of sight and movement detection aids them in accurately targeting grasshoppers, even from a distance.
  • The amphibians’ ability to camouflage themselves in their natural habitat allows them to ambush grasshoppers without being noticed.
  • Frogs consume significant quantities of grasshoppers, thus playing a vital part in maintaining the ecological balance by keeping grasshopper populations in check.

4. Shrews

Image by Celestin Billeter License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Small mammals, often underestimated due to their size, are vital players in ecosystems and significantly impact grasshopper populations by including them in their diets.

  • Shrews, with their voracious appetites and swift movements, frequently hunt for grasshoppers on the forest floor or in grassy terrains.
  • Shrews, possessing a high metabolic rate, require constant feeding, which often leads them to target abundant insects like grasshoppers.
  • Their small size and agility enable shrews to navigate through dense vegetation effectively, making them efficient hunters of grasshoppers in various terrains.
  • Shrews use their keen sense of smell and touch to locate grasshoppers, compensating for their typically poor eyesight.

5. Lizards

Image by Termauri License: CC BY 4.0

Reptiles are proficient hunters of grasshoppers, utilizing a blend of stealth and precision to capture these insects, serving as a natural control mechanism for grasshopper populations.

  • Lizards, including the common garden varieties, are agile hunters that can swiftly chase down and consume grasshoppers.
  • Lizards use their exceptional vision and sensitivity to vibrations to detect and track grasshoppers, often resulting in successful hunts.
  • Their ability to remain motionless and blend into their surroundings provides an advantage in ambushing unsuspecting grasshoppers.
  • The dietary habits of lizards, which often include a variety of insects like grasshoppers, help in maintaining the ecological balance by keeping insect populations in check.

6. Raccoons

Nocturnal mammals such as raccoons and opossums take advantage of grasshoppers as an opportunistic food source during their nighttime forays.

  • Raccoons are known for their omnivorous diet and will readily eat grasshoppers when they come across them while scavenging.
  • Their excellent night vision and sensitive hands aid them in locating and capturing grasshoppers during their nocturnal activities.
  • As opportunistic feeders, raccoons help control grasshopper populations, particularly in urban and suburban areas where their habitats overlap.
  • The consumption of grasshoppers by raccoons contributes to the balance of insect populations, which is essential for the health of ecosystems where they coexist.

7. Cuckoos

Image by Dario Sanches from São Paulo, Brazil License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Flying insectivores, encompassing a range of creatures like wasps and birds, exploit their aerial abilities to hunt grasshoppers effectively.

  • Cuckoos are birds that exhibit a strong preference for insects like grasshoppers and have the agility to snatch them up from the ground or vegetation.
  • Their ability to maneuver swiftly through the air allows them to catch grasshoppers, often directly from foliage or in mid-air.
  • As natural predators of grasshoppers, cuckoos play an essential role in maintaining the ecological balance, reducing the need for artificial pest control methods.
  • The diet of cuckoos, heavily reliant on insects like grasshoppers, underscores the interconnectedness of avian and insect populations within various ecosystems.

8. Hedgehogs

Image by hedera.baltica from Wrocław, Poland License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Garden-visiting animals such as hedgehogs and certain beetles are not only beloved by gardeners for their presence but also for their role in controlling pests like grasshoppers.

  • Hedgehogs forage through gardens at night and are happy to include grasshoppers in their diet, reducing the number of these plant-eating insects.
  • With their natural inclination to hunt insects, actively seek out grasshoppers during their nocturnal foraging.

9. Ants

Ants, known for their communal lifestyle and collective efforts, can subdue and consume grasshoppers, showcasing the impressive power of numbers in the insect world.

  • Ants work together to overwhelm grasshoppers, using their superior numbers and cooperative behavior to secure food for the colony.
  • Their ability to take down larger prey like grasshoppers is a testament to their organization and strength, serving as a crucial natural control for grasshopper populations.

10. Opposums

Image by Mike’s Birds from Riverside, CA, US License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Opposums actively consume a variety of insects, including grasshoppers, during their nightly foraging. Their ability to adapt to different environments allows them to exploit a range of food sources, grasshoppers being a readily available option in many areas.

  • Opossums have an omnivorous diet that includes insects like grasshoppers, making them effective in controlling these populations.
  • By eating grasshoppers, opossums help maintain the balance of insect populations in their ecosystems.
  • Opossums can thrive in a variety of environments, from woodlands to urban areas, where they continue to prey on grasshoppers.