Desert Locust


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Desert Locust

 

(Schistocerca gregaria), a gregarious insect of the superfamily Acridoidea; a harmful polyphagous pest. The body is 46-61 mm long; the elytra have dark spots, and the wings are light with no dark central ligature. Sexually mature individuals are lemon yellow, and those that have just acquired wings are lilac-pink. In the gregarious stage the nymphs are yellow with black spots, and in the solitary stage they are yellowish or greenish. The cylindrical egg pods are 7 to 10 cm long and contain from 30 to 130 yellowish brown eggs.

The desert locust is found in North Africa and in Southwest and South Asia, including India. There are two or three generations of locusts per year. The first generation develops in the southern parts of the above regions in autumn and winter, and soon after acquiring wings migrates to the northern part of its range. At this time (between late April and June), during years of mass reproduction, desert locusts may make incursions into the USSR (southern Middle Asia and Transcaucasia) from Afghanistan or Iran. In the northern parts of its range the desert locust reaches sexual maturity and lays its egg pods in the soil; from these pods hatch the larvae of the second, or spring-summer, generation. The second generation develops in the south, where the desert locust begins a new autumn-winter generation.

The food of the desert locust consists of about 400 species of cultivated and wild plants, including woody plants. An infestation of desert locusts on plantings, meadows, and forests may reach catastrophic proportions. It has been established that the mass reproduction of desert locusts is periodic, occurring about every ten to 12 years. The phenomenon is associated with increasing or decreasing precipitation in the permanent habitat.

Methods of control include poisoned bait and treating the plants with attractants containing insecticides.

REFERENCES

Shcherbinovskii, N. S. Pustynnaia sarancha-shistotserka. Moscow, 1952.
Tsyplenkov, E. P. Vrednye saranchovye nasekomye v SSSR. Moscow, 1970.

E. P. TSYPLENKOV

References in periodicals archive ?
The FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Western Region has provided $300,000 in funding to attack the infestations in Libya, and FAO has raised an additional $400,000 to address the regional emergency.
Available with the same versions of lenses as the Sawfly, the Desert Locust is available in an Extreme Weather version, which features a fleece lined gasket and thermal lenses, and in a Fan version equipped with a three-speed fan system powered by an AA battery, that provides optimal fog protection in extreme conditions.
The preference for shrubs and trees has been reported by Stcherbinovsky, (1952) and Tokgaiev & Yagdyev(1965) in Latchininsky & Launois (1997) while Stoliarov (1964) in Latchininsky & Launois (1997) reported the presence of Desert locust adults on Tamarix spp and fruit trees in the USSR.
Authorities are warning farmers in the south of the sultanate not to be alarmed as swarms of desert locusts prepare to sweep across the country later this month.
The FAO Locust Group is in continuous contact with the national locust authorities and FAO field experts regarding the situation and is advising on steps that should be taken to prevent a Desert Locust upsurge if favorable weather and ecological conditions continue.
Herefordshire-based Micron, which helped combat the last desert locust plague in Africa, has been recognised for its exports.
And Gavin Armstrong, 26, of Hetton-le-Hole, emailed: "Largest swarm: The Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria, forms the largest swarms.
The desert locust can affect an area that covers northern Africa, the Middle East and southwest Asia.
The EAC even operated a joint airline, a joint railway and joint harbour authorities; it shared an Income Tax Department and a Customs & Excise Department, agricultural and forestry research complexes, medical-research facilities at Alupe, the Desert Locust Department and even a flying school at Soroti.
03 (Saba) A' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region (CRC) warned Tuesday from A' the movement of desert locusts swarms towards the nearby countries, including Yemen.
According to an update from United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on the situation in the region, the instance of desert locust infestation may increase in Oman, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia.