Desert Locust

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Female locusts can lay 300 eggs within their lifetime while a Desert Locust adult can consume about two grams of fresh food every day, which is roughly its own weight and a small swarms eats the same amount of food in one day as about 35,000 people.
Undersecretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation for Agricultural Services Mohamed al-Gashm explained that the project aims to activate the center in order to fulfill its commitment to the international and regional agreements on controlling the desert locust in the spreading areas.
These feeding preferences not only reflect what plants are damaged at different stages of the Desert locust life cycle but also have important consequences for survey and treatment of this species.
Smoke gray lens (pack of 50) 4240-01-504-6143 Clear lens (pack of 50) 4240-01-504-5641 Prescription lens carrier 6540-01-525-4784 Item NSN Revision Desert Locust Goggles Kit (foliage green).
There is a moderate to high risk of the Desert Locust situation escalating further in the interior and coastal areas of Yemen and in the interior of Sudan, causing swarms to form that would threaten agricultural production by the end of the summer.
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation operates a centralised Desert Locust Information Service (DLIS) which monitors desert locust situations throughout the world and releases a locust watch bulletin every month for forecasting and warning to countries which are in danger.
He added: 'We have tested a species of African desert locust ((Schistocerca gregaria) carefully developed by ICIPE, to investigate its potential to become 'mini-livestock' for mass production for feed and food.
Khartoum, February 15 (SUNA) - Sudan is to take part, with a delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry headed by the Director of Plant Protection Khadir Jibril, at the Regional Conference of the Central Region on the Desert Locust Control, which is organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Jordan during the period from Sunday to Thursday.
Field treatment of Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria Forskal) hoppers in the field in Mauritania with an oil formulation of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium flavoviridae.
Muscat: The Desert Locust situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate, as more groups have formed in the interior and along the Aden coast during May.
SANA'A, Feb.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.