Locusts

Orthoptera species

Family: Acrididae and others

Locusts is a general name referring to species in the Acrididae family which includes the Australian Plague Locust, Migratory Locust, Spur-throated Locust, Small Plague Locust, Yellow Winged Locust, Giant Locust, Long Nosed Locust and some grasshoppers such as the Wingless Grasshopper and Pointed Grasshopper.

Order: Orthoptera

Description:

Straw or dark brown.

Body - long and slender.

End section of leg (Tarsi) has 3 segments.

Antennae less than half the length of the body.

Sings or make clicking sounds and stops when approached.

Some have wings others only have remnants.

Chewing mouthparts.

Strong rear legs for jumping.

Front segment of thorax has a strong shield (pronotum).

Abdomen has 11 segments. Spiracles on segments 1 to 8.

Antennae have 7 or more segments.

Biology:

Life Cycle:

Hatches from an egg to become a nymph (or miniature adult). It has several moults before reaching it final size in several weeks.

Habitats:

Origin and History:

Distribution:

Significance:

Locusts may build up to large numbers depending on seasonal conditions. Some form swarms and plagues. There diet is very diverse but maximum damage is usually associated with attacks on young perennials or trees.

Management and Control:

In most years control is not economical. When plagues occur concerted campaigns are mounted involving spraying of egg beds and swarms or bands. Control with baits is useful on some species. Control is often difficult because the insects are so mobile and when there are large numbers unacceptable damage may occur before control measures take effect.

Related Species:

Grass hoppers, crickets and sandgropers.

Similar Species:

References:

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.