A Day in the Life of an Arthropod

How Do Grasshoppers and Arthropods Breathe?

Objectives

Learn and understand the external anatomy of arthropods and grasshoppers.

All About Arthropods and Grasshoppers

Arthropods or arthropoda live in a variety of places, including lakes, ponds, flatwoods, and local pastures. Arthropods have a hoards of adaptations to help them survive. These include the hard chitin exoskeleton, to prevent drying and for protection, antennae, segmented appendages, as well as an open circulatory system. Arthropods prey on fungi and bacteria making them prey to many other insects such as beetles, lacewings, flies, and wasps. Arthropods are so diverse that arthropods utilize nearly all possible niches in one way or another.

Grasshoppers or Caelifera make their homes in meadows and fields which is appropriate considering their main sources of sustenance are grass, leaves and cereal crops. Unfortunately this leaves them vulnerable to many predators like birds, frogs and snakes. Fortunately they have adapted to their environment by evolving large eyes that blend in with their environment, hind legs to jump away from predators, a hard exoskeleton for protection, and camouflage. Even with all of these adaptation the grasshoppper still can't avoid its' largest predator; man. Humans in some parts of the world have made the grasshopper a popular snack! Grasshoppers contribute to nutrient turnover in the soil simply by defecating.

How do Grasshoppers and Arthropods Breathe?

Air enters through spiracles in the exoskeleton. These spiracles are valve-like openings that allow air to pass through them. They are located on the thorax or abdomen. The air then goes into a tracheal trunk that diffuses into smaller and smaller branches called tracheal tubes, Each of these is called a tracheole and that is where the air goes next. In the tracheole gas exchange between the air and the cell occurs. Oxygen dissolves in the tracheole and is transported into the cytoplasm ofth next cell while carbon dioxide is released as a waste product and leaves the body.

Works Cited

"Grasshopper Information." Grasshopper Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2014. <http://insected.arizona.edu/ghopperinfo.htm>.

"Introduction to the Arthropoda." Introduction to the Arthropoda. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2014. <http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/arthropoda.html>.

N.d. Http://www.tutorvista.com/content/biology/biology-ii/respiration/grasshopper-gaseous-exchange.php. Web.

"RESPIRATORY SYSTEM." Respiratory System. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2014. <http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/course/ent425/tutorial/respire.html>.