How to Tell a Cricket From a Grasshopper

By Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor; Updated April 24, 2017
Grasshoppers have longer antennae than crickets.

How to Tell a Cricket From a Grasshopper. You may have thought that the words "cricket" and "grasshopper" were interchangeable for one animal. Actually, these two insects are not the same. Though they look similar and share some common characteristics, this article can help you tell a cricket from a grasshopper.

Observe the time of day that you see the insect. Crickets are nocturnal, which means they prefer the night time. Grasshoppers are diurnal, so you will observe them during the day.

Note the time of day you hear the bug. If you hear an insect singing at night, chances are it is a cricket. Since crickets are nocturnal, they use their songs to communicate and mate at night. Grasshoppers do most of their calling during the day, but since they have daylight on their side, they also rely on their keen sight to check out other grasshoppers.

Look at the insect's color. Grasshoppers are more vividly green than crickets. This helps them to fit well into their grassy habitats. Crickets are darker-a paler green or brown color-because they need to blend well in the shadows and the night.

Check out the insect's wings. If the under wings are brightly colored, chances are this insect is a grasshopper. Grasshoppers communicate by flashing their under wings to other grasshoppers when they fly. If the wings are atrophied or absent, you have a cricket. Crickets do not fly.

Measure the bug's antennae. A cricket's antennae are longer than a grasshopper's (about the length of the cricket's abdomen).

Find the bug's ears. A cricket has its ears in its legs. You can spot a cricket's ears by looking for a single white dot near the bend of each front leg. A grasshopper's legs are located in its abdomen.