Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Grasshoppers and Locusts as Agricultural Pests

  • Steven Arthurs
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_1167

Orthoptera represent a large insect order with a worldwide distribution. Taxa in the superfamily Acridoidea are commonly either called grasshoppers or locusts. This division separates insects that readily aggregate in persistent bands or swarms in response to increases in intra-specific density (“locusts”) from those that show no such change in behavior (“grasshoppers”).

Economically, socially and historically, locusts and grasshoppers are one of the most destructive pests. This century alone, there have been eight major plagues of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria Forskål. Agricultural production across 29 million km2 in Africa and south-western Asia is threatened during plague periods.

Although the desert locust is probably the most infamous of all acridoid pests, a suite of other locust and grasshopper species and species assemblages cause more frequent and cumulatively far more significant damage (Fig. 37) throughout Africa, Australia, the middle East and parts of Asia and...
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Arthurs
    • 1
  1. 1.Texas A&M UniversityTXUSA