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.


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


References in periodicals archive ?
As a reminder, several studies highlight the biocidal effect of some plant extracts on the desert locust.
The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to obtain preliminary information on the availability of potential vendors to provide solutions enabling FAO, within the context on Desert Locust early warning and preventive control systems, to better its monitoring activities through the use of fixed and rotary wing unmanned aerial vehicles (hereinafter UAV), commonly called drones.
Field treatment of Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria Forskal) hoppers in the field in Mauritania with an oil formulation of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium flavoviridae.
Elsewhere, the Desert Locust situation is generally calm.
FAO emphasized that prevention through early warning and early reaction is the key in reducing damage caused by desert locust on agricultural areas.
The locust situation in countries normally affected by Desert Locust remained mostly calm in October with only small-scale breeding activity detected, FAO experts said.
Salalah, Sept 13 (ONA) A training course on Combating Desert Locust began at Hamdan Plaza Hotel in Salalah today under the patronage of Sheikh Said bin Ali al-Mas'hali, Advisor at the Office of the Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar.
We are determined to intensify our activities and stay in Yemen to practice our tasks more effectively than the previous days", said Hassan during launching the rehabilitation project of the National Centre for Monitoring and Controlling Desert Locust in Yemen, which is funded by the USAID with an amount of $ 250,000.
Experts warned after locust sightings last year that global warming could bring more of the pests, potentially posing a threat to the country's agriculture, especially as the desert locust has no natural predator in Lebanon.
2 million people through giving support to off-season food and crop production, soil and water conservation and rehabilitation projects, as well as desert locust control and monitoring.
A model to predict the incubation and nymphal development periods of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria.
The situation is characterised by the presence of large swarms of winged locusts and larvae," said Mohamed Abdullahi Ould Babah, head of the centre for controlling the desert locust, according to the AMI news agency.