The insects featured on the cover of DNS and BIND are grasshoppers. Grasshoppers are found all over the globe. Of over 5000 species, 100 different grasshopper species are found in North America. Grasshoppers are greenish-brown, and range in length from a half inch to four inches, with wingspans of up to six inches. Their bodies are divided into three sections: the head, thorax, and abdomen, with three pairs of legs and two pairs of wings.
Male grasshoppers use their hind legs and forewings to produce a "chirping" sound. Their hind legs have a ridge of small pegs that are rubbed across a hard-ened vein in the forewing, causing an audible vibration much like a bow being drawn across a string.
Grasshoppers are major crop pests, particularly when they collect in swarms. A single grasshopper can consume 30mg of food a day. In collections of 50 or more grasshoppers per square yard-a density often reached during grasshopper outbreaks-grasshoppers consume as much as a cow would per acre. In addition to consuming foliage, grasshoppers damage plants by attacking them at vulner-able points and causing the stems to break off.