Latest Locust Stories

2010-04-14 11:01:32

Farmers in eastern Australia are battling a plague of locusts, which have infested a 190,000 square mile stretch from central Queensland all the way south to the capital of Melbourne. "What we've got certainly is a very large and widespread infestation," Australian Plague Locust Commission (APLC) chief Chris Adriaansen told AFP reporters on Wednesday. "It's simply a reflection of the fact that we've had widespread rain across that entire area." According to Adriaansen, things have gotten so...

2009-07-02 15:10:00

A similarity in brain disturbance between insects and people suffering from migraines, stroke and epilepsy points the way toward new drug therapies to address these conditions.Queen's University biologists studying the locust have found that these human disorders are linked by a brain disturbance during which nerve cells shut down. This also occurs in locusts when they go into a coma after exposure to extreme conditions such as high temperatures or lack of oxygen.The Queen's study shows that...

2009-06-23 15:00:04

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Tuesday that locusts coming from northern Somalia by the swarms are putting crops in Ethiopia at risk of being destroyed. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) "reports that locust swarms have been confirmed in seven regions in the country, including in areas where there is no previous record of infestation," a statement said. "The government is expected to present a response plan specifying immediate and...

2009-01-21 19:33:29

Experts said large numbers of wood pigeons that have descended on the Kingswinford area of England likely left their previous homes due to food shortages. Homeowners said thick swarms of birds have taken over the city's view in recent days, covering trees and forming black clouds in the sky, The Daily Mail reported Wednesday. I thought it was like Armageddon, said resident and avid birdwatcher Terrence O'Dell. The sky was black and I thought maybe it meant an earthquake was going to happen. I...

2008-12-19 09:16:19

By applying an old theory that has been used to explain water flow through soil and the spread of forest fires, researchers may have an answer to a perplexing ecological and evolutionary problem: why locusts switch from an innocuous, solitary lifestyle to form massive swarms that can devastate crops and strip fields bare. Their report, published online on December 18th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, concludes that once the insects' ranks grow to a certain threshold size,...

2008-02-07 14:00:00

Studying the lowly locust could lead to improved migraine drugs for people.The way locusts react to stress may provide an important clue to understanding what causes human migraines "“ and how to reduce their painful effects, says Queen Univeristy Biology professor Mel Robertson.With PhD student Corinne Rodgers, Dr. Robertson is using insect models to examine how the nervous system controls breathing when stress is induced through high temperatures and oxygen deprivation. They have...

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...

2006-03-29 10:14:21

By Emma Batha BONN (Reuters) - The United Nations called on Wednesday for funding for a system to give early warning of locust plagues of the sort that ravaged West Africa in 2004. It also said it was mulling an insurance deal to make cash available to fight an infestation as soon as it was needed. "Just a very small part of an average swarm can eat as much in a day as 10 elephants, 25 camels or 2,500 people -- that's the extent of damage we are looking at," Dr Mannava Sivakumar of...

2005-10-26 04:46:56

By George Obulutsa NAIROBI (Reuters) - Researchers have developed an organic pesticide that can control deadly locust swarms in Africa, reducing the need to use traditional insecticides that harm the environment, a senior scientist said on Wednesday. Last year West Africa's worst locust infestation for more than a decade wreaked havoc and worsened food shortages in some of the world's poorest nations, causing major damage to grain crops across a region where many are subsistence...

2005-10-17 08:57:22

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Rainfall over parts of Africa's Sahel appears to be rising but its greening could prove a mixed blessing if the population surges as a result and drought follows, a leading ecologist said on Monday. "Climate change models suggest the Sahel should be getting drier but observations suggest it is currently getting wetter," Jon Lovett of the University of York in Britain told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference on climate change in Johannesburg. "This could...

Latest Locust Reference Libraries

2005-09-07 20:39:31

Caelifera, a herbivorous insect, is a suborder of the order Orthoptera. Commonly called grasshoppers in English, the sub-order includes short-horned grasshoppers, grasshoppers and locusts. Characteristics The Caelifera have antennae that are shorter than the body, and short ovipositors. Those species that make easily heard noises usually do so by rubbing the hind femurs against the forewings or abdomen, or by snapping the wings in flight. Tympana, if present, are on the sides of the...

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Word of the Day
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'