Locust (lat. Acrididae) is an insect that includes several types and differs not only in its external signs, as well as the structure, but also in phases that only this animal has. Locus can be called acrides, they are able to arrange longterm migration over a long distance and form large packs among themselves. The key feature is survivability, unpretentiousness to the external environment and the presence of two phases herd and single.
The soot body is elongated, the length varies from five to twenty centimeters. This animal has bends in the form of small “knees”, which exceed the front and middle limbs in size, forming a hillock and showing readiness for jumping. Odlalli cover translucent wings, which are almost impossible to notice in a folded state. They do not have a certain color, but sometimes they can be painted with various patterns. The mustache of the locusts are shorter than other similar insects, such as grasshoppers and crickets. The size of the head is quite large, the eyes are large and are located on the sides. This animal makes a characteristic and annoying sound, and its formation occurs as follows: male representatives in their structure have small zabins, which are located near the hips, as well as denser overlaps with thickening in certain places. When such a structure is trembling about each other, it gives out a chirping with various tonality, which not only scares away enemies, but also informs its brothers about the approach of danger or that the illwishers have already left.
The color of the insect completely and completely depends on the environment of it, and not on any genetic conventions. Even if all individuals are born at the same time and from one female, when they are divided into different climatic conditions, the coloring of each will differ from the previous. In addition, the protective covers of the locusts change color as they develop. Therefore, in a solitary phase, the male and the female become green, yellow, gray or brown, so they are better hidden in the environment. And during the change of stage to herd, the color becomes identical with other individuals of the same stage. Another remarkable difference between the herd phase from the single can be called the complete absence of external sexual characteristics.
The locusts are capable of developing fairly large speeds, so a whole flock in only one day overcomes a distance of over 150-kilometers.
The structure of the body of this insect is very similar to others, but the oral apparatus is noticeably different. It is gnawing and has all the necessary elements for good nutrition with firm food. This type is considered initial for most other animals in principle, since locusts still remain one of the oldest insects. In the gearing apparatus there is a complete set of elements for cutting and primary digestion of solid plants two lips, upper and lower, under which two pairs of lower and upper jaws without teeth are located.
Thanks to the upper lip, this animal checks potential food for suitability, after which it captures a small piece, moving exclusively in a horizontal plane, and then bakes and breaks it into parts of even smaller sizes. The lower jaws serve as a kind of spring, thanks to which the crushed food is pushed into the throat, and then and into the esophagus.
The locust has been living on the planet for more than one thousand years, thanks to which it has passed many stages of evolution not only of the animal world, but also of human civilization. Due to constant development and adaptation to the external environment, a fairly large number of species have appeared, each of which has its own characteristic features. Of the main and most key, one can note:
Asian (migratory) locust (lat. Locusta Migratoria) this is one of the largest varieties. The length of the body in males can reach five or even ten centimeters, and in females-4-7 centimeters. The color has several color shades: bright green, brownish, gray or yellow-green. The wings of the color do not have and are hardly noticeable against the background of the remaining limbs, but they have peculiar smoky stripes, as well as barely prominent veins of black.
Italian locust (Italian Prussian) (lat. Calliptamus italicus) -View with medium sizes that is not distinguished by some serious external or internal differences. Due to the climatic conditions of Italian insects, more powerful wings than others, and the veins on them are located much less often than that of the brothers. The coloring can be completely different and one of the most multifaceted, but brick, brown, brown and even pale pink tones predominate over others.
Siberian mare (lat. GOMPHOCERUS SIBIRICUS) – As the name implies, insects of this varieties are distributed mainly in Siberia and in the regions that are nearest in terms of climatic conditions. The dimensions are slight, rather even small. One of the most harmful animals for cereal crops, ruining everything in its path.
Bluewinged mare (lat. Oedipoda Caerulescens) – this subspecies has very noticeable differences, which are understandable to everyone even from the name. The wings of this insect look spectacular and have a bright blue color closer to the base, but to the top become as colorless as the wings of other types. In addition to special coloring, you can see peculiar patterns consisting of randomly located black veins. The legs, like wings, have a bluish tint, and are also covered with small spikes.
Rainbow locust (lat. Phymateus saxosus) The business card of all Madagascar insects, which is the main and only habitat of this subspecies. The dimensions of the locusts with such a bright and specific color are also large: the length of the body often exceeds seven or even eight centimeters, pretending one of the largest. The rainbow color of the wings indicates not only the beauty, but also the strong poison that these insects have.
Lifestyle and behavior
Ordinary single locust, which can also be called a mare, does not particularly harm people or plants. The appearance of herd individuals occurs due to a lack of food, as a result of which the insect lays eggs from which animals of another phase hatch. This species best adapts to flights for a long distance and can be collected in flocks in which the number of individuals often exceeds hundreds of millions. The migration of such a huge number of insects is more like the movement of several clouds or a storm, sweeping all plant foods in the way. In a matter of hours, a whole field or grove with many cultures will be devastated. The most active locust moves in the daytime day.
Unlike the devastating of herd species, a single insect is inactive and does not bring any deplorable consequences. The herd is more like a single organism, the purpose of which is to destroy any crops found in the way. The notes of scientists have information about the flights of numerous herds of thousands of kilometers across the ocean, and from afar it is described as a “cloud of more than a thousand square meters”. Single insects try not to enter herds, but can unite in small groups up to ten individuals. Moreover, in such formations there is always only one male, and everything else is females.
How much locust lives
The life expectancy of locusts is very short, regardless of whether it will live in favorable climatic conditions. Thus, on average, individuals do not live up to a year, but some species, for example, Desert, they can live a little more-13-14 months, after which they still die. Such a short period of life is caused by a too fragile body and many other factors that simply do not allow an insect for a long time to exist. And not only the climate with food play the role here, because even in incubation rooms and under the most ideal conditions the animal dies in a matter of months.
Where it lives
There is no specific and limited habitat in these unpretentious insects. They can be found throughout the globe of the globe, only species will differ, but even there are no significant differences between them, which means that the locust is still locust. The only place in the territory of the entire planet, where insects cannot fly, is the coldest mainland Antarctica. In other climatic zones, from tropics and subtropics, ending with Western Siberia and Sakhalin, you can find these herbivores.
Separate species settle near the crops, others remotely, in the mountains or near reservoirs. There are as many variations of the lifestyle and the habitat as the varieties of the most common insect on Earth, but all this is only conventions and specifics, in which in some cases you can not go through. Even in the most dry deserts, for example, in sugar, where, in principle, there are no plants, except for dead shrubs, you can still find locusts.
Mares, which are called single individuals, exist according to the type of hermitable lifestyle, separately from their relatives and any civilization. Therefore, their appetite is also small, and the food is moderately and rarely exceeds some large numbers. One such individual throughout its life will eat two hundred grams of vegetation, but everything changes when a phase change from a single to a herd occurs. Multimilion flocks begin to exterminate any crops that they meet on the way, and from herbivores, they turn into omnivorous pests that can even devour the straw roofs of houses or long grape plantations. In addition, since the number in the herd is so huge that it simply cannot be counted, no matter how much time a person has, nobody cares about weakened individuals. On the contrary, they are instantly eaten with the rest of the food, since the entire array cannot be stopped and if the sick animal is not eaten, they will simply be crushed, not leaving even a wet spot. Cannibalism also allows you to make up for the lack of fluid and protein in the body of other members of the pack.
Propagation and stage development stages
Propagation in most individuals occurs throughout the round year, but in moderate climate it is limited only until the summer season, and the rest of the time, insatiable insects go to search for food. The locusts have three stages of development an egg that matures in a short period of time; larva hatching from the egg and rapidly developing; adult individual into which the larva turns after development. The eggs are deposited in the fall, when the main season for gluttony, t.e. Summer ends, and time to migrate due to cold weather does not come yet. The foliage of trees or soil itself acts as a haven for masonry, and a special bag made of mucus protects the offspring. In such a bag there is up to 120-and eggs, and per square meter the number of such clutches can exceed two thousand.
It is also noteworthy that after delaying the offspring, the parent dies, and the hatched babies eat him to form more in fullfledged insects. Larvae differ from adults by the absence of wings and smaller sizes, but otherwise they are similar. In just one month, their wings are formed and the first sexual characteristics appear, which indicate readiness for reproduction. If the climate is warm, then the development occurs even faster and after two weeks later the individual is ready for mating. A breakdown break is required only in extreme cases.
Due to the very fast and numerous birth rate, the locust has no problem with the population. Every year, the number of individuals increases ten times, and flocks in which there may even be several million, but several billion insects in a matter of hours, not only small groves, but also entire villages, but in some situations of agrarian cities. Because of this, humanity is trying with all its might to resist the atrocities of flying robbers, creating means against insects, processing all plant crops and literally burning clouds from them. But even such radical means cannot bring a person closer to a step to at least some protection from the invasions of the locust. It quickly adapts to any poison, burning does not help, since the amount is so large that the burning of only a few flocks will not play a role. Therefore, there are no problems with the population and the view only flourishes.
The only representatives of the world fauna who are able to give at least some rebuff to the locusts are birds, for example, starlings, larks or storks. Only they have funds and the ability to withstand insects that have not yet passed into the herd phase. But this very transition levels all sorts of attempts to fight and literally pronounces all the closest crops for death. Birds simply cannot withstand a huge amount of herbivores that form herds resembling clouds.
Locust and man
According to most scientists, the locust does not pose any danger to human life. It only destroys agricultural vegetation, and also interferes with its noise. To avoid this to an ordinary city resident, it is worth closing the windows in the absence of mosquito nets, because the insect can fly into the house and put a couple of clutches there, as a result of which the apartment can become unsuitable for life, because getting rid of huge offspring will simply be impossible.