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Schistocerca gregaria (Forskal, 1775)

Desert Locust

Taxonomy: Orthoptera>>Caelifera>>Acridoidea>>Acrididae>>Cyrtacanthacridinae

Status: Occasional migrant.

Description: The “gregarious” form that is most likely to be found in Britain is a large yellow-brown grasshopper with multiple vertical bars down the eyes. Peg between the forelegs, but no central keel on the pronotum. Nymphs appear quite different from the adults; they are bright yellow with contrasting black markings. Adults of the solitary form are greenish with a humped thorax.

Size: 60 - 90 mm

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

Stridulation: Short burst of rapid ticking.

Food: Mostly herbivorous.

Habitat: Native habitat of this species is dry areas of scrub and desert. It occurs in Britain as a rare vagrant or as an escape from pet shops, where it is commonly stocked as live reptile food.

Phenology: Adults appear late summer to early autumn, though 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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