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 ?
Identification and validation of housekeeping genes in brains of the desert locust schistocerca gregaria under different developmental conditions.
From each location, we collected 830 individuals of Schistocerca gregaria, 260 young nymphs (first to third instar), 210 older nymphs (fourth, fifth instar) and 360 adults.
While Schistocerca gregaria, eats a wide variety of plants, it does have a strong selectivity in its food even when many plant species are present (Le Gall et al.
Anomalous chromosome behaviour in the germ line of Schistocerca gregaria.
A model to predict the incubation and nymphal development periods of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria.
On the origin of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria (Forskal) (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Cyrtacanthacridinae).
The metabolic effect of the insect growth regulator, fenoxycarb, on Schistocerca gregaria last nymphal instar.
The role of the antichitin synthesis, chlorofluazuron (IKI) on the main metabolites during metamorphosis of Schistocerca gregaria (Forsk.
However, when their population spikes because of such factors as abundant food, shy Schistocerca gregaria locusts become yellow-and-black partygoers.
Effects of azadirachtin on embryological development of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria Forskal (Orthoptera: Acrididae).
Reduction of feeding by desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, after infection with Metarhizium flavoviride.
Reduction in flight activity and food consumption by the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal Orth.