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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
The habitat functions of vegetation in relation to the behaviour of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria (Forskal) (Acrididae: Orthoptera)--a study in Mauritania (West Africa).
Dearn IM (1977) Pleiotropic effects associated with the albino mutation in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forsk.), and their relationship to phase variation.
KEYWORDS: Schistocerca gregaria, Locusta migratoria, Calotropis procera, Mortality, Haemogram, Toxicity.
A few species such as Cyrtacanthacris tatarica tatarica (Linnaeus, 1758), Schistocerca gregaria (Forskal, 1775), Tylotropidius varicornis (Walker, 1870), Aulacobothrus socius Bolivar, 1902 and Tristria pulvinata (Uvarov, 1921) reported by Shishodia et al.
Among these meliantriol has been reported to possess growth disrupting and antifeedant properties against desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria).
Extracts of ground-up brain and other nerve tissue from the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, and desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, killed more than 90 percent of a type of E.
Ultrastructure and immunocytochemistry of endocrine cells in the midgut of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Cell and Tissue Research, vol.
The vibrational startle response of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria. The Journal of Experimental Biology.
Ademas, las destruxinas son capaces de inhibir la secrecion de fluidos por el tubo de Malpighi en Schistocerca gregaria (James et al., 1993).
And Gavin Armstrong, 26, of Hetton-le-Hole, emailed: "Largest swarm: The Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria, forms the largest swarms.