Grasshoppers and Locusts as Agricultural Pests
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.
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