SSC Groups


IUCN SSC Grasshopper Specialist Group

IUCN SSC Grasshopper Specialist Co-Chairs: Axel Hochkirch and  Kate Umbers
IUCN SSC Red List Authority Focal Point: Baudewijn Odé


Our aim is to conserve Orthopteroid insects (grasshoppers, katydids, crickets, mantids, stick insects) and their habitats around the world. We develop and perform practical conservation programs, including habitat restoration and management, monitoring of populations and reintroduction projects. Moreover, we perform red list assessments, develop bioacoustic monitoring tools and guidelines for reintroductions and grassland conservation.

Orthopteroidea are a diverse group of insects with more than 30.000 species. Many hitherto undescribed species are found in the tropics and even in temperate regions. They inhabit nearly all terrestrial habitats, including deserts, tropical forests, grasslands, savannahs and mountains. Some species are even aquatic and place their eggs in stems of water plants. Grasshoppers and their allies are particularly rich in endemic species, as many of them are completely flightless. Range sizes of tropical Orthopteroidea are exceptionally small (smaller than in plants, vertebrates and many insect taxa). Therefore, they represent an ideal group to locate areas of high species richness.

Although most Orthopteroid insects are rather small and inconspicuous, they also include a number of colourful and charismatic species, e.g. the worlds rarest insect (Lord Howe Island Stick Insect: Dryococelus australis), the worlds longest insect (Phobaeticus chani), and the colourful families Pyrgomorphidae and Romaleinae. Only few species are known to cause serious damage (Locusts).

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