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What Do Locusts Eat?

Locusts can devour a huge variety of plant types, including soft leaves and fruit. Different species of locusts prefer different food types, but they all enjoy eating soft fruits and veggies.

Locusts feed on plant leaves. As adults, they are excellent flyers, and as nymphs, they are persistent hoppers.

Locust swarms can completely devour the leaves and stems of plants. Some eat a wide variety of foods, while others stick to a more limited menu.

What is a locust?

A locust is a type of bug that is common in many parts of the world and known for its swarming behavior. Locusts can be different species and come in different colors, but all of them swarm like crazy when they’re disturbed.

How much food can a locust consume in one day?

During the course of a day, an adult consumes roughly as much food as his or her own weight, which is about 2 grams of food

What are the effects of locusts eating crops and plants?

The effects of locusts eating crops and plants can be devastating. Locusts can eat crops and plants quickly, releasing chemical residues into the environment.

This could have a big impact on the environment and the economy. Researchers are working to find a way to stop locusts from eating crops, but it is an ongoing problem.

What are the different types of locusts?

Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria)

The desert locust is a species of locust found primarily in the deserts of northern and eastern Africa, Arabia, and southwest Asia. It shows periodic changes in its body form and may travel long distances into new areas.

Facts for Kids
Facts for Kids

Desert locusts can cause widespread damage to crops during plague years, as they are highly mobile and can eat the same amount of food as 35,000 people in one day.

Migratory locust (Locusta migratoria)

The migratory locust is widespread throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand and has many different subspecies.

Locusts are highly mobile and can travel 5 to 130 km in a day. They can consume their own weight in food per day.

Bombay Locust (Nomadacris succincta)

Patanga succincta, the Bombay locust, is usually a solitary insect, but it has exhibited swarming behavior in India.

They are found in India, Southwest Asia, and Southeast Asia and breed in grassy plains and rough, tussocky grassland with shrubs and scattered trees at elevations up to about 1,500 meters (4,900 ft).

Tree locust (Anacridium moestum)

Anacridium moestum is a species of grasshopper from Africa. It is similar in appearance to the Southern African desert locust.

Anacridium moestum is a large and slender locust with a mottled reddish brown or grey body and pale blue hind wings.

This species is very common in southern and southern tropical Africa.

FAQs

What are locusts?

Locusts are a type of grasshopper that form swarms and cause serious damage to crops. Swarms of locusts can cover acres, attacking anything from wheat to rice.

Locusts are not a particular species. They are a subset of grasshoppers that develop swarming behavior and gregarious growth when environmental conditions are right.

While they may be considered pests, locusts play an important role in the food web by eating leaves and other plant material on the ground.

Where do locusts live?

You can find them in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. They occupied a region of around six million square miles.

The locusts, however, are able to spread over 60 nations and cover one-fifth of the Earth’s geographical surface when massive swarms of them fall on a location during a plague.

What do locusts do?

Locusts are insects that eat grass and other plants. They form swarms and can cause damage to crops, so people have long feared and revered them.

What is the difference between a locust and a grasshopper?

  • Locusts are a type of grasshopper that have wings and can fly.
  • Both locust species are used for breeding as a food source, and both are well-known for their ability to swarm and destroy crops.
  • Many other locusts and grasshoppers have a level of toxicity that makes them unsuitable for human consumption.
  • A big swarm can have around 100 billion insects.
  • Grasshoppers are an important source of food for many animals, including humans, in all kinds of habitats.
  • A grasshopper is not as hungry as a locust and will not cause an outbreak.

What is the life cycle of a locust?

There are three main stages of development – Egg, Nymph, and Adult

Locust eggs are laid in the soil by the female and sealed with froth to protect them from desiccation, disease, and predation.

Locust nymphs shed their skin to continue growing and developing into adults. They take a few weeks to reach maturity and can regulate their body temperature by basking in the sun or moving to shade.

Predators

There are numerous birds, mammals, and insects that feed on locusts, but they are not specific feeders, so their presence during an outbreak has little to do with locust numbers.