All animals and insects have a place on the food chain. Regardless of what the animal or insect is, there is always another that is bigger, stronger, and faster that will prey on it, with the exception of apex predators. Smaller insects are especially vulnerable to attacks from other animals. So how about grasshoppers? Do raccoons eat grasshoppers? This article looks into it
Raccoons do eat grasshoppers, the bulk of the raccoon’s diet is insects, grasshoppers included. These insects offer high amounts of protein to the raccoon as well as vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, fiber, zinc, and magnesium.
Do raccoons eat grasshoppers?
Raccoons have a varied diet, these animals have one of the most varied diets of all animals.
They are omnivores meaning they eat both plant and animal matter, they are also opportunistic feeders, they eat whatever they can get their paws on. The raccoon diet comprises of fruits, vegetables, birds, fish, small mammals and insects, grasshoppers included
Grasshoppers are abundant in the world, they can be found in all continents apart from Antarctica. Thus, grasshoppers can usually be found where raccoons are. If a raccoon can catch a grasshopper, it will surely eat it
Raccoons are nocturnal animals, they will forage for food and hunt at night. This is also the time when grasshoppers are asleep, raccoons will find and catch grasshoppers while the insect is sleeping and their guard is down.
These insects only sleep for a short while so the raccoon has to be quick when catching them
A grasshopper will try to defend itself against the raccoon if attacked, the insect will try to catapult itself away from the raccoon if it can. It may even try to fly away from the raccoon. If it can’t escape, it will become raccoon food.
Grasshoppers are rich in protein, they contain very high levels of protein for their size. These insects are made up of about 72 percent protein, they also have all the amino acids.
Protein is an essential nutrient needed by all animals, not only raccoons. This nutrient helps with the development of body tissue as well as cell regeneration
Grasshoppers also contain other vitamins and minerals namely vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, fiber, zinc, and magnesium.
However, because raccoons prefer to conserve energy when looking for food, these animals will settle for eating prey that is easier to catch, or plants, which don’t have to be caught at all.
What types of insects do raccoons eat?
Insects make up a large part of the raccoon diet, they are both nutrient-rich and many are easy to catch and eat. Insects that raccoons eat include:
- Praying mantis
What animal eats grasshoppers?
Humans: Humans eat a variety of insects, grasshoppers included. In fact, humans are a major grasshopper predator. When meat is in low supply, humans will eat grasshoppers for protein.
Birds: Birds are very good at catching grasshoppers. These animals will look for and find grasshoppers in hiding. Birds that eat grasshoppers include chickens, crested flycatchers, blue jays, bluebirds, blackbirds, and hawks
Other insects: There is a hierarchy even in the insect kingdom. Insects of all shapes and sizes will eat grasshoppers if given the chance. Insects that eat grasshoppers include a few bee species, dragonflies, centipedes, and the Chinese mantis.
Fish, reptiles, amphibians: If grasshoppers are near water bodies they can fall prey to a variety of animals like American toads, largemouth bass, and eastern box turtles. Snakes, like the northern ringneck snake, will also make a meal out of a grasshopper.
Bats: Bats enjoy eating insects, in fact, there are 40 types of bats that eat only insects. These animals are major insect predators. Grasshoppers are one type of insect that bats will eat.
Hedgehogs: These animals aren’t seen as strictly insectivores anymore, they eat small animals as well, but they still enjoy eating insects, grasshoppers included. If they can’t catch grasshoppers, they will eat other insects that are easier to catch, like snails
In conclusion, yes, raccoons do eat grasshoppers. Grasshoppers are asleep at night, raccoons are awake at night and use this to their advantage to catch these insects.
Grasshoppers are rich in protein and a variety of other nutrients namely vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, fiber, zinc, and magnesium.
If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other raccoon related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Do raccoons eat geese?, Do raccoons eat groundhogs?, Do raccoons eat green tomatoes?, Do raccoons eat geraniums?