Genitalia of grasshopper

How do you dissecting male and female genitalia of grasshopper?


Well, I think, the subjects of our curiosity should survive the taking of pictures by us inaturalists!
So leave them their genitalia!

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Why do people need to do that?


For species identification. Genitalia is often unique for a species while the outer appearance is not.


Do you mean external, or also the reproductive organs? For the larger specimens at least, dissection is an option, I remember dissecting one when I was ten. The instructions said to cut a vertical line down the bottom of the abdomen and thorax like this:

If you are doing this method, I recommend a scalpel and tweezers/foreceps.

Hope this helps!


Its for species identification, some species may look the same but their structure of of genital tend to differ. especially when describing a new species in insect world comparison of genital is important.

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Thank you that will be of a great help. if u have then can you also provide for male genital removal.


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FYI while this is what kids do in grade school this isn’t how entomologists dissect genitalia for insects in real labs. I’m not a grasshopper pro, but I’ve seen katydid people at work and it was usually similar to the fly routine I list below. Just saying because doing it this way will make a big mess that is much harder to tease apart, and ruin the rest of the specimen for further analysis.

For flies at least, you usually cut the genitalia off the tip of the abdomen (I use some microscissors), immerse them in KOH for several hours / days, then rinse in acetic acid (to neutralize the base) and wash in water. This digest step helps dissolve away the soft organs so you can tease apart the sclerotized bits (claspers, spermathecae, the phallus, etc). Then, to actually dissect I put them in a watch glass with some ethanol and glycerine and use minuten pins to cut and tease the parts apart. All of this is done under a dissecting microscope, and you want it to stay submerged in liquid (otherwise, there will be too much reflection from the lights off the various tissues for you to see where the particular bits are). It takes a fair bit of practice to get good at this, you’ll break things the first few you try.

After dissection, the individual bits usually get placed inside a microvial with some glycerin and pinned underneath the specimen, or mounted on a slide.


Thank you

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Does it definitely need dissection? Some of the characteristic parts of the terminalia (claspers, ovipositor) are on the outside of a grasshopper. And if the parts you need are inside, they may emerge if you gently squeeze towards the end of the abdomen. This often works with beetles.

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Thanks will take note of it.

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