a superfamily of insects of the order Orthoptera. The body length reaches 9 cm, with the antennae measuring no longer than half the body. There are two pairs of wings, which are sometimes underdeveloped or absent. The hind legs are saltatorial, and the torsi are three-segmented. The ovipositor is short. The eggs, which are deposited in small piles in the soil or, less commonly, in plant tissues, are enveloped by a foamy fluid, which upon hardening forms a solid egg pod. The nymphs usually appear in the spring, developing for four to six weeks and molting four to seven times.
There are more than 10,000 species of Acridoidea. The USSR has about 500 species, mainly of the family Acrididae (true locusts). Acrididae emit chirping sounds by rubbing their hind legs against the thickened veins of the elytra; their organs of hearing are located along the sides of the first segment of the abdomen.
Acridoidea may be gregarious or nongregarious. All species are herbivorous, with many causing damage to agriculture. Gregarious locusts are particularly injurious; destructive nongregarious species include Gomphocerus sibiricus, Stauroderus scalaris, and Dociostaurus kraussi.
Large scientific and industrial centers for the study of locust control have been established in a number of countries, including France, Great Britain, and Canada. Centers have been set up by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in India, Africa, and the Middle East. In Paris the International Association of Acridologists publishes the journal Acrida.
REFERENCESBei-Bienko, G. Ia., and L. L. Mishchenko. Saranchovye fauny SSSR i sopredel’nykh stran, parts 1–2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951.
Tsyplenkov, E. P. Vrednye saranchovye nasekomye v SSSR. Leningrad, 1970.
F. N. PRAVDIN