T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Locust (Migratory) Locusta migratoria

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Orthoptera
Family: Acrididae
Subfamily: Oedipodinae
Genus: Locusta
Species: L. migratoria
Binomial name: Locusta migratoria
Synonyms: Acridium migratorium, Acridium plorans, Pachytylus australis, Pachytylus migratorius, Pachytylus migratorioides
Common name: Migratory locust

Locusta migratoria is the most widespread locust species, and the only species in the genus Locusta. It occurs in all temperate and tropical parts of the Eastern Hemisphere, from the Canaries and the Azores in the West to Japan, South-eastern Asia, Australia, Papua New Guinea and in the North and South Islands of New-Zealand. 
In many countries it is a pest as a few days after hatching, gregarious hoppers (nymphs) start forming groups, whose density can reach 80,000 hoppers/m² for 1st instar and 7,000 hoppers/m² for 5th instar. These groups can move on relatively long distances. Inside poor vegetation cover, 5th instar hoppers can march up to 3 km per day. Gregarious adults form swarms about 10 days after fledging. Despite its food preference, the Migratory Locust can eat plants of many families after leaving its outbreak areas or when its favourite grasses are missing. Each individual eats from 300 to 500 g of green forage during its life. 

Locusta migratoria does not reach plague proportions in New Zealand, probably because temperatures are not high enough to trigger swarming.

Locusta migratoria is a large insect, with a body length that varies from 35 to 50 mm for males and from 45 to 55 mm for females. The locust’s colour can vary but is usually green, brown, yellowish-green or grey. This species is polyphagous but mainly graminivorous, occupying the grass cover near the ground. 
Females locusts lays up >65 eggs in a pod in the ground. Depending on temperature they hatch after 10-40 days.


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/