locust

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locust,

in botany, any species of the genus Robinia, deciduous trees or shrubs of the family Leguminosae (pulsepulse,
in botany, common name for members of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae), a large plant family, called also the pea, or legume, family. Numbering about 650 genera and 17,000 species, the family is third largest, after the asters and the orchids.
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 family) native to the United States and Mexico. The locusts have pendent clusters of flowers similar to the sweet pea; these are very fragrant in the black, or yellow, locust (R. pseudoacacia), which is the common locust, sometimes also called acacia, or false acacia. This species has been widely planted in the past for ornamental purposes, for erosion control, and for its useful wood, but the locust borer has killed it in many areas. Its heavy, hard, durable wood has been used extensively for treenails in shipbuilding, for fence posts, for turning, and for fuel. The shoots and bark of the black locust are poisonous. The honey locusthoney locust,
leguminous deciduous tree (Gleditsia triacanthos) of the family Leguminosae (pulse family), native to the eastern half of the United States but planted as a shade tree in many regions of the United States and in other countries, where it is sometimes
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 belongs to a different genus of this family, as does the carobcarob
, leguminous evergreen tree (Ceratonia siliqua) of the family Leguminosae (pulse family), native to Mediterranean regions but cultivated in other warm climates, including Florida and California.
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, which is thought to have been the biblical locust. Locust is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.

locust,

in zoology, name for certain migratory members of the short-horned grasshoppergrasshopper,
name applied to almost 9,000 different species of singing, jumping insects in two families of the order Orthoptera. Grasshoppers are long, slender, winged insects with powerful hind legs and strong mandibles, or mouthparts, adapted for chewing.
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 family (Acrididae). Like other members of this family, locusts have antennae shorter than their bodies, song-producing organs on the forewings and hind legs, and hind legs well developed for jumping. Locusts lay their eggs in the ground; when the nymphs hatch they are wingless and move across the land by walking. Typical locusts (e.g., species of the Old World genus Locusta) have two distinct adult forms, a short-winged migratory form and a long-winged nonmigratory form.

Locust migration is an occasional event, which follows an enormous buildup of a locust population. The young locusts, called nymphs, only develop into the migratory form under certain environmental conditions, which also lead to a population increase. Not all of the environmental factors involved are known, but one is hot weather. The first generation produced after a migration is not usually migratory.

When migration occurs the locust swarms are so dense as to blacken the sky over an area of many miles. When the insects finally settle, after traveling hundreds or thousands of miles, they begin to feed, consuming enormous quantities of vegetation. Locusts are serious agricultural pests. Spraying with solutions of arsenic and overturning the soil can destroy the eggs.

Locusts are most common in Africa and Asia, but also occur in the United States. The Rocky Mountain locust, Melanopolus spretus, a species that is now apparently extinct, destroyed millions of dollars worth of crops on the Great Plains between 1874 and 1877. A single swarm contained an estimated 124 billion insects. Cicadascicada
, large, noise-producing insect of the order Homoptera, with a stout body, a wide, blunt head, protruding eyes, and two pairs of membranous wings. The front wings, which are longer than the rear pair, extend beyond the insect's abdomen.
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 are sometimes called locusts in the United States but are related to aphids and leafhoppers, not grasshoppers.

Locusts are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Orthoptera, suborder Caelifera, family Acrididae.

locust

Wood of the locust tree; coarse-grained, strong, hard, decay-resistant, and durable. See also: Douglas fir

locust

[′lō·kəst]
(botany)
Either of two species of commercially important trees, black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and honey locust (Gladitsia triacanthos), in the family Leguminosae.
(invertebrate zoology)
The common name for various migratory grasshoppers of the family Locustidae.

locust, black locust, red locust

Wood of the locust tree; coarse-grained, strong, hard, decay-resistant, and durable; used in construction, esp. for posts.

locust

tree representing elegance. [Tree Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 175]

locust

1. any of numerous orthopterous insects of the genera Locusta, Melanoplus, etc., such as L. migratoria, of warm and tropical regions of the Old World, which travel in vast swarms, stripping large areas of vegetation
2. a North American leguminous tree, Robinia pseudoacacia, having prickly branches, hanging clusters of white fragrant flowers, and reddish-brown seed pods
3. the yellowish durable wood of this tree
4. any of several similar trees, such as the honey locust and carob