Because grasshoppers and crickets are so good at jumping, many people are surprised to learn that they flyalso. Indeed grasshoppers and crickets have pretty strong wings that allow them to travel long distances in search of food and or mates. Besides long distance travel, grasshoppers can also fly pretty high for their size and weight, as this guy (or gal) on the top of the Bank of America Plaza reminds us.
Thanks to Chuck Schechner, reporter for KRLD radio, for sharing this weather cam shot illustrating the capability of our local grasshoppers to fly at least 280 m (920 ft) high. Indeed locust (migratory grasshopper) swarms commonly are seen at over 1000 m at night, when updrafts are generally NOT responsible for carrying the insect higher.
While there are no longer any migratory locust species in the U.S. (the Rocky Mountain locust became extinct with the disappearance of the last wild buffalo herds), the African locust, Schistocerca gregaria, the locust of the Bible, flies in massive swarms of from 10 to 250 km2, moving at speeds of up to 100 km (60 miles) per day.