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Latest Desert locust Stories

How Did The Desert Locust Lose Its Memory?
2014-01-14 10:59:40

Ciência Viva The desert locust (a type of grasshopper), much like Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde, goes from being an innocuous solitary-living individual to become a voracious gregarious animal that destroys everything on its path (and back). These two very different “personas” are remarkable adaptations of a single genome to distinct environments. But apparently, this flexibility is even more impressive says Patricio Simōes, Jeremy Niven and Swidbert Ott from the Champalimaud Neuroscience...

Research Into Desert Locusts Discovers How Your Environment Shapes Your Thinking
2013-11-21 13:12:19

University of Leicester A team of scientists has shown how the environment shapes learning and memory by training locusts like Pavlov's dog to associate different smells with reward or punishment. Desert locusts are notorious for their devastating swarms. However, they do not always live in swarms — they switch between a lone living 'solitary phase' and a swarming 'gregarious' phase. The two phases differ profoundly in looks, behavior and in their life style. The new research from...

Locust Plague Devouring Madagascar, $41M Needed To Combat Infestation
2013-03-28 08:11:51

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A plague has gripped Madagascar and a UN body says the country will need $41 million over three years to help fight off the infestation that has gripped more than half of the world´s fourth-largest island. The plague comes in the form of locusts, a term generally referring to the swarming phase of several species of short-horned grasshoppers. This plague has been increasingly threatening Madagascar´s crop production and...

New Insight Into Why Locusts Swarm
2011-12-20 10:33:36

Protein associated with learning implicated in causing grasshoppers to swarm New research has found that a protein associated with learning and memory plays an integral role in changing the behavior of locusts from that of harmless grasshoppers into swarming pests. Desert Locusts are a species of grasshopper that have evolved a Jekyll-and-Hyde disposition to survive in their harsh environment. In their solitary phase, they avoid other locusts and occur in very low density. When the...

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2010-05-26 12:00:00

Scientists reported that swarming locusts not only look different and act differently to solitary locusts; they also have much larger brains. Scientists at the University of Cambridge captured images of the results of dramatic changes inside the insects' heads. The team said the same locust could switch between a "solitary" and swarming phase. They reported their findings in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "Normally locusts would avoid close contact with each other," Dr Swidbert Ott...

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2009-12-25 07:45:00

Scientists have shown for the first time that insects, like mammals, use vision rather than touch to find footholds. They made the discovery thanks to high-speed video cameras "“ technology the BBC uses to capture its stunning wildlife footage "“ which they used to film desert locusts stepping along the rungs of a miniature ladder. The study sheds new light on insects' ability to perform complex tasks, such as visually-guided limb control, usually associated with mammals....

2009-01-30 11:02:36

Serotonin, a chemical that moderates behavior in animals, has been shown to change the aloof desert locust into partying fiends, British researchers said. The discovery, published Friday in the journal Science, could lead to methods of inhibiting the formation of locust swarms, The New York Times reported. The infestations, which can cover hundreds of square miles with the vegetation-destroying insects, ravages agriculture and costs millions to control. While earlier research found sensory...

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2009-01-29 15:19:24

Role of brain chemical on locust swarming revealed in Science Researchers have linked the radical transformation of desert locusts "“ from harmless, solitary creatures to gregarious, swarm-forming insects "“ to the common brain chemical serotonin. This discovery illuminates a mechanism within these desert locusts that initiates their switch from aversion to attraction, and may open the door to new methods of pest control. This report will be published by the journal Science on...

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2008-05-08 14:53:24

Since ancient times, locust plagues have been viewed as one of the most spectacular events in nature. In seemingly spontaneous fashion, as many as 10 billion critters can suddenly swarm the air and carpet the ground, blazing destructive paths that bring starvation and economic ruin.What makes them do it?A team of scientists led by Iain Couzin of Princeton University and including colleagues at the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney believes it may finally have an answer to this...

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2007-08-18 03:20:00

By Simpson, Steve Steve Simpson explains how his basic research on the behaviour of locusts has surprising ramifications for understanding a worrying human epidemic. Locusts have the extraordinary capacity to change from harmless grasshoppers into mass swarming pests. The trigger for this remarkable and devastating transition is being touched by other locusts on the hind legs - something that can be simulated by tickling them with a paintbrush. Crowds of gregarious locusts will suddenly...


Latest Desert locust Reference Libraries

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2008-08-06 17:53:40

The Migratory Locust (Locusta migratoria), is the most widespread species of locust. It occurs throughout Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It was once very common in Europe but has now become rare there. Because of the vast geographic area it occupies, which comprises many different ecological zones, numerous subspecies have been described. However, not all experts agree on the validity of some of these subspecies. Pigmentation and size of the migratory locust vary according to its...

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Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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