The grasshoppers are strategic in the welfare of man and may constitute a major threat when its population is not checked. A study on the distribution of grasshoppers in open plots and farmlands was carried out within Calabar Metropolis between August to November, 2010. A total of 295 grasshoppers belonging to 11 species grouped under 3 families (Tettigoniidae, Acrididae and Pyrgomorphidae) were collected from 8 study locations. Grasshoppers were collected weekly from all study sites using sweep nets between 11 a.m .to 4 p.m. The collection was done using sweep nets between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. when grasshoppers baked themselves under the sun. The percentage abundance of these species were Spathosterrium pygmaeum (16.27%), Tettigonia viridissima (11.86%), Catantops spissus (11.19%) Acridaturita sp. (10.17%), Gastrimargus acrididae (9.83%), Schistocerca nitens (9.49%), Tylopsis sp. (7.46%), Zonocerus variegatus (6.78%), Omocestus viridulus (6.10%), Scudderia mexicana (5.76%) and Zonocerus elegans (5.08%). Tettigonia viridissima and Acridaturita sp. were largely distributed as it occurred in 7 of 8 study sites while Scudderia mexicana was the least distributed, as it was reported in 3 sites only. The dominant grasshopper species in open plot was Spathosterrium pygmaeum (19%) in relative abundance and the least was Zonocerus variegatus (0.64%). Zonocerus variegatus was the dominant species in farmland (14%) in relative abundance and the least was Schistocerca nitens (4%). Chi-square test showed a high significant difference between the distribution of grasshoppers in open plots and farmlands (p<0.05). Variations in grasshopper species composition were attributed to lizard predation and management practices such as grass cutting, fertilizer and pesticide applications. It was therefore concluded that species abundance and population of grasshoppers could be enhanced by minimizing human activities that interfere with land use.
E.E. Oku, G.A. Arong and D.A. Bassey, 2011. Species Composition of Grasshoppers (Orthoptera) in open Plots and Farmlands in Calabar Metropolis, Southern Nigeria. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 14: 507-510.