The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) contributes to South Africa’s sustainable development by facilitating access to biodiversity data, generating information and knowledge, building capacity, providing policy advice, showcasing and conserving biodiversity in its national botanical and zoological gardens. The largest zoo in the country and the only one with national status. Prior to the formation of flying swarms, which are extremely difficult and expensive to control, flightless juveniles form vast ‘marching bands’. Our previous studies have suggested that phase-related behavioral plasticity involves multiple-level mechanisms including the … The solitary and gregarious forms of the desert locust are so different both in looks and behaviour that they were considered to be separate species until 1921, when scientists proved otherwise. In locusts, intra- as well as inter-phase reproductive interactions among gregarious and solitarious locust populations have a major impact on the locust population dynamics. We found that JH induced the behavioral shift of the gregarious locust from attraction to repulsion to the volatiles of gregarious locusts. The desert locust is --as other swarming locusts- characterized by a polyphenism. 2012). Counter to popular belief, locusts are shy, cryptic and solitary individuals that actively avoid contact with each other. distinct in many traits, such as coloration (see image below, courtesy of Steve Simpson), neurophysiology and behavior. 2017). Chapuis, M.P., Raynal, L., Plantamp, C., Meynard, C.N., Blondin, L., Marin, J.M. Parts of the desert locust ‘invasion area’, namely the northern border areas of Pakistan and India, are very close to China, and whether locust swarms will invade China is of wide concern. Understanding the As noted above, the behavioral elements that lead to copulation (i.e., those that can be identified during the pre-copulatory phase), can be divided into two stages: Table 1 lists all the elements comprising the pre-mounting stage, and Table 2 lists all the elements comprising the mounting stage (ending in copulation). Researchers have defined two distinct forms of this species: S. g. gregaria found in Africa (mainly the northern and eastern parts of the continent), the Middle East and Western Asia (Lovejoy et al. However, knowledge of locust courtship and precopulatory behavior is surprisingly limited. The desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål, 1775), is one of the most destructive migratory pests in the world [1–3]. (2012) Cannibalism as a driver of the evolution of behavioral phase polyphenism in locusts. & Schimansky-Geier, L. (2009) Collective motion due to individual escape and pursuit response. This technique provided what was described (at the time!) In addition our discovery of cannibalistic interactions provided a new process to study with respect to the evolution of locust behavior, not just with respect to swarm formation, but also the extreme phenotypic plasticity exhibited by locusts. The Latin name for Desert Locust is Schistocerca gregaria (Forskal). The eyes have vertical stripes and are different from that of the brown locust (Locustana pardalina), which it resembles and which has dark plain eyes. The precopulatory behavioral repertoire of the male (left) and female (right) desert locust in the solitary phase (Mean PO: The probability of an element to occur). In recent years locusts have contributed to continuing and emerging humanitarian crises in Darfur and Niger, and understanding the biological features that underlie these mass migrations is of critical importance. Desert locust swarms intermittently damage crops and pastures in sixty countries from Africa to western Asia, threatening the food security of 10% of the world’s population. The life cycle of the desert locust includes the egg, hopper and adult. Vortex phase matching as a strategy for schooling in robots and in fish, Nature Communications, PNAS: Uncovering hidden intelligence of collectives, Science: Shared decision-making in wild baboons, Vortex phase matching in robots and in fish, Collective behavior as a crisis discipline, Nesting by a new potter wasp inside active termite nests, All content © Department of Collective Behaviour 2015, Locusts are a well-known global pest insect which can form swarms that extend over several hundred square kilometers, To explore this multi-scale process I developed imaging technology capable of automatically and concurrently tracking hundreds of individuals. E-mail: r.motloung@sanbi.org.za. Additionally, the foam covering an egg pod is reinforced with soil particles forming a hard case protecting eggs against compression and desiccation. True solitary forms of the brown locust are relatively sedentary and only undertake night flights. Author information: (1)Department of Anthropology, California State University Fullerton, 800 N. State College Boulevard, Fullerton, CA 92834, USA. Bazazi, S., Buhl, J., Hale, J.J., Anstey, M.L., Sword, G.A., Simpson, S.J. and Lecoq, M., 2011. Recently, the most serious upsurge of the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) in the last 25 years is spreading across eastern Africa and southwestern Asia. A programme of research into phase change in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, is described.The ability to change phase between solitarious and gregarious forms in response to population density is a key feature of locusts and is central … The desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria , is an important agricultural pest. This proposed explanation including the climatic and habitat suitability of the SRI environmental disturbance to the species and the related southeastern colonisation through the corridor remains to be evaluated. 2012). The breed has capability of going from a solitarious form to gregarious form, hence developing characteristics of group behavior and acting in … Desert locust plagues threaten the economic livelihood of a tenth of humans. Abstract. Science 312, 1402-1406. The Desert Locust is one of about a dozen species of short-horned grasshoppers (Acridoidea) that are known to change their behavior and form swarms of adults or bands of hoppers (wingless nymphs). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that the desert locust alone impacts the livelihood of one in ten people on the planet. The success of this species is related to the extreme long-distance movement associated with swarming behavior, as such dispersal may have played an important role in determining its current distribution patterns. Lovejoy, N.R., Mullen, S.P., Sword, G.A., Chapman, R.F. Despite the clear practical and scientific importance of understanding locust behavior, two persistent unknowns were, (1) why do locusts form marching bands and (2) why do locusts exhibit dramatic phenotypic plasticity. desert locusts [20,21]), it is reasonable to say that the key aerodynamic mechanisms have been now identified, including, in addition to the aforementioned LEV and clap-and-fling dynamics, other subtle mechanisms related to added-mass, rotational circulation or wake capture [2,6,10]. Diapause eggs prevent immediate hatching, allowing the build-up of eggs in the soil over a period of time. The desert locust is potentially the most dangerous of the locust pests because of the ability of swarms to fly rapidly across great distances. These natural enemies would also need to produce in great numbers at a particular area in relation to the migrations of the swarming locusts. 2017). However it is the behavioral transition that responds most rapidly, within a few hours, to changes in local population density. These eggs only hatch when the moisture content of the soil is suitable. The behavior of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), is adjusted rapidly to population density and is a phase characteristic. Call: 0800 434 373, Report complaints on environmental and/or social harms and gender discrimination arising from SANBI’s activities The desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, is an important agricultural pest. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 278(1704) 356-363. To explore this multi-scale process I developed imaging technology capable of automatically and concurrently tracking hundreds of individuals. They are ravenous eaters who consume their own weight per day, targeting food crops and forage. Author: Rethabile Motloung Mating and reproduction behaviors and strategies are fundamental aspects of an organism’s evolutionary and ecological success. Accessed, November 25, 2020 <, Price, R.E. Locusts can return to the solitarious phase if sufficiently isolated from one another, but this may take much longer. Subspecies: Schistocerca gregaria flaviventris (Burmeister, 1838) The eggs of the locusts have an impermeable cuticle, are drought resistant and may live in the soil for about three years. The seventh paper of this special issue by S. O. Ely et al. As the local density increases beyond a critical value, however, behavioral repulsion among insects declines and they begin to move towards each other and form mobile moving groups that can extend many kilometers. Mating and reproduction behaviors and strategies are fundamental aspects of an organism’s evolutionary and ecological success. Solitarious desert locusts collected from the field (Red Sea Coast) were more attracted to volatiles from potted Heliotropium ovalifolium in scotophase than in photophase. Researchers have concluded that this subspecies has access to a continuous supply of vegetation compared to the nominal species found in the northern and eastern parts of Africa, hence the loss of the plastic reaction norm in behavior leading to gregarious phase (Song et al. When the laid eggs complete their development, hatching occurs, which produce young locusts with no wings and which are called hoppers. This is termed a transition from the “solitarious” to “gregarious” state, which are. However, knowledge of locust courtship and precopulatory behavior is surprisingly limited. Solitarious desert locusts collected from the field (Red Sea Coast) were more attracted to volatiles from potted Heliotropium ovalifolium in scotophase than in photophase. Desert locust 21 2.4.1 The ethogram of the sexual behavior of the Desert locust 2.4.2 Quantification of the data The southern African desert locust population feed mainly on grasses, but also a wide range of crops and is known to damage wheat crops in the Free State (Picker et al. The geological and palynological (study of plant pollen) research indicated that there was a brief fragmentation of the African primary forest in the Holocene and this period was characterised by relatively warm temperatures and longer dry seasons rather than an arid climate. (2012) described the desert locust as a large-sized insect with a body length of about 72 mm, which belongs to a genus of more than 50 species. The eggs of the species are able to survive repeated unexpected dehydration and rehydration (Khambule 2010). In the desert locust S. gregaria , JH can activate the responsiveness of olfactory interneurons in the antennal lobe [ 27 ] . The phase-based polyphenism appears to be an adaptation to the stresses imposed by intraspecific competition at high population density and tends to produce individuals that migrate en mass, presumably to escape the deteriorating conditions within their crowded local habitat (Sword 2003). Desert Locust prefer semi-arid to arid areas, and lay eggs in moist sandy soil; rainfall is conducive to Desert Locust survival and reproduction. A key step preceding the formation of these marching bands is the expression of a dramatic form of phenotypic plasticity mediated by local conspecific density. A comparative analysis of behavioral phase change in nymphs of. The pre-mounting and mounting behavioral elements are listed from step 1 to 7 (S1-S7) and color coded according to relevant body part. Sheep grazing creates shorter and sparser grasses prefered by locusts and this in turn promotes outbreaks or colonisation (Le Gall et al. Bazazi, S., Romanczuk, P., Thomas, S., Schimansky-Geier, L., Hale, J. J., Miller, G. A., Sword, G.A., Simpson, S.J. There is no evidence that they occur after a specific number of years. A key (and differentiating) aspect of our modeling is that we considered a framework in which behavioral interactions and plasticity are not pre-determined, but rather they evolve. The fully gregarious adult brown hoppers are extremely active, flying both day and night and laying only non-diapause eggs in vast egg beds, which may hatch to cause major swarms. Thus, our model suggests that a low density avoidance behavior followed by a transition to gregarious behavior beyond the critical density, resulting in high density bands, are both individual-level adaptations to minimize cannibalism. Sword, G.A., 2003. They proposed that the processes that led to the appearance of the subspecies flaviventris in the western side of South Africa were indicated to be related to the opening of the Sangha River Interval. (2011) Nutritional state and collective motion: from individuals to mass migration. The disjunct distribution of the two subspecies is attributed to the reappearance of the forest vegetation that could have led to genetic differentiation of the southern populations from the northern parental populations. Locusts are a well-known global pest insect which can form swarms that extend over several hundred square kilometers  and are capable of invading up to one fifth of the Earth’s land surface during plague years. We demonstrated, using an individual-based evolutionary model that cannibalism can also account for the evolution of density-dependent behavioral ‘phase change’ in locusts. However it is the behavioral transition that responds most rapidly, within a few hours, to changes in local population density. Yates, C. A., Erban, R., Escudero, C., Couzin, I. D., Buhl, J., & Kevrekidis, I. G., et al. As local density increases above a critical value, however, the favored strategy is for individuals to move away from those who approach while being attracted from those who move away. The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) locally known as emaathe, enzige, enzigye is a swarming short-horned grasshopper in the Acrididae family. On the origin of the desert locust. Derivation of scientific name (if known). Physical Review E 82(1), 011926. Chapius et al. The behaviour of swarms. Counter to popular belief, locusts are shy, cryptic and solitary individuals that actively avoid contact with each other. A further discovery was that locusts appear to increase the randomness of their motion in response to a loss of alignment in the group. The parasite hatches and begins feeding on the contents of the locust egg and also develops through three instars to the adult stage entirely inside the egg pod of the locust. Physical: 2 Cussonia Ave, Brummeria, Pretoria. The bugweed lace bug is […]. They do not form swarms and are thought only to lay diapause eggs. The desert locust is one of the most difficult insects to control on a national basis due to the vastness of its distribution area, pronounced Series B, Biological Sciences, 10.1098/rstb.1951.0003, 235, 625, (163-290), (1951). The study concluded that the ancestor of this genus had traits associated with phase polyphenism, which is the state of swarming behavior engineered by environmental phenotypic changes as opposed to gene-based polymorphism. 2006), and the southern African form, S. g. flaviventris (southern African desert locust), which is known to occur mainly in solitary phase since 2005, and is geographically isolated from the nominal species S. g. gregaria by 2500 km and occurs between the Kalahari Desert and the Western Cape of South Africa, which are parts of the Succulent Karoo and Fynbos biomes (Song et al. Before mating, males actively scanned the visual field, frequently cleaned their antennae and compound eyes, and jumped toward the females. How did this subspecies occur in South Africa while the other is mainly found in northern Africa? The Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria) is the most destructive migratory pest in the world.In response to environmental stimuli, dense and highly mobile Desert Locust swarms can form. The authors found that the insects were more attracted to volatiles from potted Heliotropium ovalifolium in scotophase than in photophase. For a period of about 9 to 40 days, the eggs remain in diapause; once diapause is completed eggs may enter a stage of quiescence (dormancy), which can last for several years. The best time to spray Desert Locust is early in the morning and late in the afternoon when they are settled on the ground. Grasshoppers and locusts are both components of heathy and disturbed grassland ecosystems. They are not always present where the outbreaks occur and therefore  humans have resorted to using chemicals to protect crops and pastures (New Zealand Digital Library 2020). Other enemies feed mainly on the contents of the egg and thereby stopping further development. Diel Behavioral Activity Patterns in Adult Solitarious Desert Locust, Schistocercagregaria(Forskal)˚, Sidi Ould Ely, Peter G. N. Njagi, Magzoub Omer Bashir, Salah El-Tom El-Amin, and Ahmed Hassanali Volume 2011, Article ID 459315, 9 pages 2017). (2006) From disorder to order in marching locusts. The desert locust occurs in two phases, with a yellow swarming phase, which is generally pink when freshly moulted, and greenish-white in a solitary phase. We conclude that a primary cause of the switch in behavior that seeds the formation of locust swarms is individuals regularly touching others on the hind legs within populations that have become concentrated by the environment. The male locust makes a chirping sound by rubbing its hind legs against its wings. and Couzin, I.D. in Science  as “the most detailed description yet of the behavioral mechanism allowing social animals to form and maintain coherent, large-scale groups”. Collective animal behaviour describes and analyzes the behaviour of groups of animals.In these groups, the animals are often all of the same species.As an example, a school of fish will be made of mostly the same type of fish and a flock of birds will have the same type of bird. Desert locusts show an extreme form of phenotypic plasticity, changing between a cryptic solitarious phase and a swarming gregarious phase that differ in many aspects of behaviour, physiology and appearance. This technique provided what was described (at the time!) The desert locust exhibit two distinct behavioral phases – the solitary phase – when individual actively avoid one another and – the gregarious phase – when they form marching hopper bands (mass aggregations of flightless nymphs) and swarms (adult aggregations with high mobility). The male locust makes a chirping sound by rubbing its hind legs against its wings. This is because these locusts are able to exist in solitary as well as gregarious phases. Locusts and grasshoppers: behavior, ecology, and biogeography.Bazelet, C.S., 2011. and Oseto, C., 2006. To be or not to be a locust? Counter-intuitively adding noise in this way was found to bring swarms back to an ordered (aligned) state more quickly (perhaps driven by the need to reduce risk of cannibalism), thus stabilizing marching bands. The insecticide kills them by being eaten and by its contact with their bodies. Collaborator, and friend, Prof. Steve Simpson demonstrated, in a series of remarkable papers, that it is as the local density increases that behavioral repulsion among insects declines and they begin to move towards each other and form groups. The southern African desert locust’s habitat includes arid parts of the region (Gordonia district). Thus phase change minimizes the costs of cannibalism, and also may allow individuals to effectively migrate out of nutrient poor environments, providing a, https://collectivebehaviour.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/LocustTracking-iPhone.m4v, From disorder to order in marching locusts, Collective motion and cannibalism in locust migratory bands, Nutritional state and collective motion: from individuals to mass migration, Inherent noise can facilitate coherence in collective swarm motion, Ergodic directional switching in mobile insect groups, Collective motion due to individual escape and pursuit response, https://collectivebehaviour.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/only_e_pBC-iPhone.m4v, Cannibalism as a driver of the evolution of behavioral phase polyphenism in locusts. Interestingly, the desert locust ancestry is proposed to have been in Africa, but it has managed to disperse over the Atlantic Ocean into the Americas where it gave rise to a total of 50 more species (Chapius et al. ); Tsie ea lehoatata (Southern Sotho). pfashing@fullerton.edu Desert Locust. The migration of the Desert Locust ( Schistocerca gregaria Forsk.) Biodiversity Science, Report complaints on environmental and/or social harms and gender discrimination arising from SANBI’s activities. The southern African desert locust is endemic to South Africa, which includes parts of the Fynbos and Succulent Karoo biomes. • AFROL News, Stronger efforts to fight West Africa's locusts Oct. 1, 2004 afrol News - Stronger efforts to fight West Africa's locusts However, the areas of outbreaks are unpredictable, but it seems to move downward with rain. Mating and reproduction behaviors and strategies are fundamental aspects of an organism’s evolutionary and ecological success. Locusts can return to the solitarious phase if sufficiently isolated from one another, but this may take much longer. The desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria , is an important agricultural pest. The insects are abundant in natural and human-altered habitats like rangelands, wetlands, agricultural fields and lawns. Common names: Southern African desert locust (Eng. & Couzin, I.D. 2017). Tel: +27 (0)12 843 5000 Song, H., Foquet, B., Mariño-Pérez, R. and Woller, D.A., 2017. This latter quantitative fit to experimental data has allowed us to determine the scaling with model parameters, such as insect density and their nutritional state, allowing us to make predictions relevant to field scenarios. Solitarious locusts show rapid behavioural phase change in response to tactile stimulation directed to the hind femora. Combining this understanding with that of driven ordered dynamics in statistical physics we demonstrated that selective repulsion and attraction interactions can account for the collective motion of locusts both qualitatively and quantitatively (Bazazi et al., 2011). 2019). At low densities locusts’ evolutionary stable strategy is to actively avoid contact with others, resulting in solitarious-type behavior. Locusts can return to the solitarious phase if sufficiently isolated from one another, but this may take much longer. our cannibalism hypothesis also accounts for the observed hysteresis in locust phase change behavior. A programme of research into phase change in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, is described.The ability to change phase between solitarious and gregarious forms in response to population density is a key feature of locusts and is central to their occasional yet catastrophic impact on humans. These questions have been the focus of our research. However, the areas of outbreaks are unpredictable, but it seems to move downward with rain. The film shows two different species. Breeding in this species occur during the rainy season. Of these species, only one species is known to occur in Africa. In our first work we demonstrated that a change in the density of insects triggers a spontaneous transition from disorder (whereby the locusts behave much like the particles in a gas; bumping into each other but not exhibiting coherent motion) to an ordered state (whereby they form a ‘living fluid’ that flows across the landscape): Buhl, J., Sumpter, D.J.T, Couzin, I.D., Hale, J., Despland, E., Miller, E. & Simpson, S.J. The behavior of the desert locust,Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), is adjusted rapidly to population density and is a phase characteristic. Author information: (1)Department of Anthropology, California State University Fullerton, 800 N. State College Boulevard, Fullerton, CA 92834, USA. The desert locust has a potential of being an indicator species for natural, anthropological, local and global environmental changes. pfashing@fullerton.edu PDF | Mating and reproduction behaviors and strategies are fundamental aspects of an organism evolutionary and ecological success. We would also like to conduct further field experiments on locusts, and other swarming insects. Last year, it travelled from Egypt across the Red Sea into Saudi Arabia and the western UAE, and in the early 2000s, it devoured many of the date palms in the southern Emirati city of Al Ain. To combat the locust swarms, 13 million hectares in 22 countries on three continents … The conservation status of the southern African desert locust has not been assessed. During the outbreak of the Desert locust S. gregaria in Africa in 2003–2005, over eight million people suffered from severe 80 to 100% crop losses . II. The desert locust has been described by Food and Agriculture Organization as one of the most destructive pest in the world. A herd is a large group of hoofed, herbivorous mammals.. Understanding the As noted above, the behavioral elements that lead to copulation (i.e., those that can be identified during the pre-copulatory phase), can be divided into two stages: Table 1 lists all the elements comprising the pre-mounting stage, and Table 2 lists all the elements comprising the mounting stage (ending in copulation). The behaviour of swarms Summary New evidence is given on the behaviour of migrating Desert Locust swarms, based upon some sixty encounters by various observers with swarms in Iran in 1943 and in Kenya in 1944. Locusts are described by their two dramatically different behavior patterns: Either docile and solitary, or active and sociable, forming gigantic, ravenous swarms. In terms of genetic differences, the southern African subspecies is shown to have much less levels of density-dependent traits that results in the gregarious swarming phase. In South Africa, the records of outbreaks were indicated to have stopped in 2005. Phylogeny of locusts and grasshoppers reveals complex evolution of density-dependent phenotypic plasticity. It does occasionally swarm along the Orange River, feeding mainly on the range of crops (Price & Brown 2002). At low densities locusts’ evolutionary stable strategy is to actively avoid contact with others, resulting in solitarious-type behavior. The desert locust (S. gregaria) is the earliest diverging lineage in the group, meaning that the ancestral Schistocerca originated in Africa and colonised the New World. It has two to five generations per year. Locust outbreaks are irregular and can cause serious agricultural damage over a wide range across West Africa, the Middle East, and southwest Asia [4–8]. 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