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Locusta migratoria (Linnaeus, 1758)

Migratory Locust

Taxonomy: Orthoptera>>Caelifera>>Acridoidea>>Acrididae>>Oedipodinae

Status: Occasional migrant.

Description: The “gregarious” form that is most likely to be found in Britain is a large greyish-brown to rufous grasshopper with a single horizontal bar across the eyes. There is no peg between the forelegs, and no prominent central keel on the pronotum. Nymphs are orange-brown. Adults of the solitary form are greyish-green with a humped thorax.

Size: 32 - 80 mm

Wings: In the gregarious form, both sexes have long wings and fly well.

Stridulation: Short burst of rapid ticking.

Recordings: Note, your ability to play these recordings depends upon the configuration of your computer and browser.

Conflict song of two males.
Source: Baudewijn Odé

Food: Herbivorous.

Habitat: The Migratory Locust is the most widespread locust species, occurring throughout Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It used to be common in Europe but has now become rare here. Because of the vast geographic area it occupies, comprising different ecological zones, numerous subspecies have been described. In Britain the species occurs as a rare vagrant or as an escape from pet shops, though it is not bred here commonly.

Phenology: True vagrants are most likely to arrive on warm south-easterly winds in late summer or early autumn. Escapes may occur all year round.

Distribution: The records held by the National Biodiversity Network are shown in the map below.
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