Orthoptera is an order of insects with paurometabolous or incomplete metamorphosis, including the grasshoppers, crickets and locusts. Many insects in this order produce sound (known as a "stridulation") by rubbing their wings against each other or their legs, the wings or legs containing rows of corrugated bumps. The tympanum or ear is located in the front tibia in crickets, mole crickets, and katydids, and on the first abdominal segment in the grasshoppers and locusts. These organisms use vibrations to locate other individuals.
Crickets are omnivorous scavengers who feed on organic materials, as well as decaying plant material, fungi, and some seedling plants. Crickets eat their own dead when there are no other sources of food available, and exhibit predatorial behavior upon weakened, crippled crickets.
Crickets have relatively powerful jaws, and several species have been known to bite humans.
Orthopterans have a generally cylindrical body, with hind legs elongated for jumping. They have mandibulate mouthparts and large compound eyes, and may or may not have ocelli, depending on the species. The antennae have multiple joints, and are of variable length.
The first and third segments of the thorax are enlarged, while the second segment is much shorter. They have two pairs of wings, which are held overlapping the abdomen at rest. The forewings, or tegmina, are narrower than the hindwings and hardened at the base, while the hind wing is membranous, with straight veins and numerous cross-veins. At rest, the hindwings are held folded fan-like under the forewings. The final two to three segments of the abdomen are reduced, and have single-segmented cerci