Locust insect. Description, features, lifestyle and locust habitat
Locust considered not a very distant cousin of pretty grasshoppers. However, the damage caused by their accumulated clusters is enormous in scale. Bare orchards, gnawed at the root of the field of grain crops, devastated plantations — the final result after visiting their gluttonous herd.
Description and Features
Nature awarded locusts with an elongated body and six limbs, of which two pairs — short and weak, one (back) — stronger and much longer. In some cases, there are specimens whose «growth» approaches 15 cm.
This subspecies has a large head with clearly visible eyes. One pair of solid elites covers 2 transparent wings that are practically invisible when folded. Locust applies to the long-standing order of Orthoptera, of which there are presumably more than twenty thousand species.
Coloring is usually not related to heredity, only the conditions in which the individual lives and the stage of its formation affect the color. Instances originating from the same litter will be colored differently if they grow up under different conditions.
The formation stage has a direct impact on how the insect looks — loners are painted in camouflage shades (green-yellow or hazel), which are influenced by the region of residence. When the pack is formed, everyone acquires color, exactly the same as everyone else. The gender distinction is already disappearing at this time.
The speed with which the flock moves reaches 120 km per day. Locust in the photo looks like a grasshopper familiar to every child. In order not to make a mistake and not miss the appearance of a formidable dirty trickster, you should pay attention to the following characteristic features:
- grasshopper and grasshopper recognized primarily by the size of the antennae. The grasshopper’s whiskers are not much larger than his own size, the locusts have short mustaches, they are no more than his head;
- locusts have less developed forelimbs than grasshoppers;
- grasshoppers love the cool of the night and begin to activate in the evening, and the locusts are active in the daytime;
- grasshoppers are loners; they never gather in large groups for self-preservation;
- an ordinary grasshopper is a predator that eats only small insects, and locusts are a devourer of vegetation (for the most part, it will eat anything it comes across without any analysis).
The following locust species are most famous:
1. Migratory or Asian.
It is found in massive quantities in European countries and in countries located in western Asia, in the Mediterranean territories of the African continent, in countries of East Asia. The size of the body of an adult is usually 40-60 mm.
The wings have a barely noticeable grayish tone and darkened veins. The color repeats the shades of the surrounding area — emerald greenish, grayish brown or sand. The hind limbs of these insects have a darker color than the body.
This species is common in the Mediterranean climate zone of northern Africa. You can see insects in the southern part of European countries, as well as in countries located on the Balkan Peninsula and in the south of Russia.
Small adults, in most cases, they are no more than 20 mm, the color is usually inconspicuous, grayish-brownish. A distinctive feature by which they can be recognized is a cross-like pattern of a light shade on the back and dark spots randomly located throughout the body.
The main place of settlement is the countries of the Iberian and Apennine peninsulas. You can meet insects in areas located west of the Urals and in Asian countries, in the Altai Territory and in the countries of the Arab East.
The maximum size to which an adult insect grows is 40 mm. Individuals of the Italian prus have a brick or brownish color, on the back are clearly visible lightish hue specks or stripes.
4. Siberian filly.
You can meet in almost all areas of the Asian part of the Russian Federation (except for permafrost areas) and in Kazakhstan. A large number of Siberian filly can be found in the northern territories of Mongolia and China, the highlands of the Caucasus. Matured individuals of relatively modest sizes, their length is not often more than 25 mm. The color of insects is brown with a brownish tint or khaki.
5. Egyptian filly.
You can meet this species in European countries, the northern regions of the African continent, and Middle Eastern countries. This is one of the most impressive insects. Females can grow up to 60-70 mm. The males are smaller, their body size is not more than 40-45 mm.
Such locusts are usually painted in mouse color or the color of wet sand. The hind legs of the insect have a bluish tint, sometimes with the addition of yellow-red. A characteristic feature are clearly visible dashes — black and white, they can be seen on convex eyes.
6. Blue-winged filly.
It lives in the steppes and forest-steppe regions of Asia and Europe, the Caucasus, the western regions of Siberia and Kazakhstan. Does not apply to species that are large. 20 mm is all that a pest with beautiful wings can grow to. The color of the insect is amazing.
The wings have a turquoise or juicy blue color, on which a fancy pattern of thin strokes of dark color is clearly visible. The hind legs have small spikes of a light shade and are tinted in light blue.
7. Rainbow locust.
Lives on the island of Madagascar. This is a very spectacular and eye-catching individual, but at the same time, it is extremely toxic. All of her organs were literally saturated with toxic and poisonous substances, since she eats only plants that produce poisonous juice.
Favorite food — leaves and fruits of milkweed. Appearance is admirable — the whole color scheme gathered on her wings, and this is understandable, because she lives in bright vegetation. The dimensions of the beauty are impressive — up to 70 mm.
Lifestyle & Habitat
A distinctive feature of the locust is its ability to live alone and gather in giant communities. If the individual is a loner, she behaves quite calmly, sedentary and not gluttonous. The devastating effects of her stay are usually not observed.
When the food disappears, the insects try to lay as many eggs as possible, from which the herd individuals hatch, ready to move around vast spaces. This offspring is larger, and their wings are better adapted for long flights. About half a billion individuals sometimes gather in giant locust clusters. Such flocks possess amazing mobility and interact as a single organism.
It is believed that a shortage of organic substances and amino acids in the body of individuals can serve as a signal for the egg laying because of the insufficient amount of food in dry years.
Individuals of catastrophic damage to green spaces do not bring. Appetite in individuals is very moderate. In their entire lives, they eat no more than five hundred grams of green mass. The main problem is the locust, united in a flock.
To replenish the energy balance and vitality, individuals gathered in a herd are forced to eat without stopping, otherwise they will die from thirst and lack of protein. Locusts, having appeared in the company of numerous relatives, begin to show amazing gluttony. One individual is able to absorb about four hundred grams of green mass per day, but there are millions of them in a flock.
With a lack of protein in the body, insects begin to degenerate into predators, and the process of eating their own kind begins. In this case, the flock is divided into two symbolic subgroups, one of which runs in front, and the second — tries to catch up and eat. And those fleeing, and catching up, eat everything in their path, completely destroying the crops and gardens.
Locust — pest unpretentious. The multimillion-dollar community will leave bare land with rare remains of protruding stems after its stay. Individuals differ in their best appetite in the absence of heat (morning and evening).
Reproduction and longevity
Locust is an egg-laying insect and reproduces sexually. An enterprising male, to attract a female, produces a specific hormone by the smell of which the female is looking for a suitable partner.
Attracted by the smell, she finds the male and tries to get as close to him as possible. The male is attached to the female and tries to lay a sperm capsule in the part of the posterior end of the abdomen (ovipositor). Mating often takes a lot of time, and can last up to 13 hours.
The female ovipositor leaves the female directly in the ground and covers it with a foamy liquid, which solidifies and turns it into a solid cocoon. One such clutch may contain 60-80 eggs. Over the course of her life, a female makes six to twelve clutches in which up to four hundred eggs are found.
Twelve days later, white larvae crawl out of such a cocoon, which are immediately immediately intensively fed. The larva undergoes several stages of development and turns into an adult specimen after 35-40 days.
The time that locust lives on depends on the climatic conditions of habitat and can be from 7-8 months to 2 years. In areas with severe winters, locusts die with the onset of frost. Noticing in its territory locust-like insect, it should be watered as often as possible, as the filly breeds poorly with high humidity.
Plants are best treated with a liquid specifically designed to combat these insects. Animals that eat poisoned leaves should die in 2-3 days. Particular attention should be paid to finding places where eggs can be laid, and try to prevent the appearance of larvae.
Among the features of the structure and life of locusts, one can distinguish many interesting facts:
- Due to the fact that the insect has well developed hind legs, it can move in a single jump at a distance exceeding the body size by twenty times.
- When eating locusts, they eat everything that is painted in green. As soon as the food, which has greenish shades, ends in a closed room, the locust begins to eat its relatives, if they have a green color.
- Insects can fly huge spaces without landing — up to four hundred kilometers. The longest flight of locust flocks is from the African continent to the islands of the Caribbean. A herd of locusts walking on foot overcomes an area of twenty kilometers during daylight hours.
- In 5 days, 7,000 tons of citrus were swallowed by a locust community that attacked an orange tree plantation in Morocco. Amazing gluttony — one ton per minute.
- Locust — insect, which inhabits all continents of the globe, the exception is only Antarctica. This is due to harsh climatic conditions and a complete lack of food. But an interesting fact, they are not in North America. Last known locust invasion on the continent dates back to 1875.
- The most unusual way to control locusts was recorded in the 15th century in France. The judge, who considered the case of spoilage of vineyards by insects, ruled on the allocation of a plot of land that was strictly forbidden to leave the pests.
- Locust is on the menu of many nations of the world. Eat these insects in thirty-six states located on the African continent, twenty-nine Asian countries and in twenty-three states of the South American continent. Studies have shown that locusts are a nutritious product that can replace meat, it does not have much fat and many vitamins.
250 mint Photos
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Mints come in an array of leaf sizes, colors and flavors. You can easily find a mint that suits your taste or fills the right spot in your garden design or recipe box. Some common mint varieties include: ‘Kentucky Colonel’ spearmint (the go-to mint for juleps and mojitos), ginger mint (gold-streaked leaves taste great in teas), pineapple mint (variegated green and white leaves, fruity flavor), ‘Hillary’s Sweet Lemon’ mint (a cross between apple and lime mint) and apple mint (large fuzzy leaves on tall plants).
Give summer’s favorite thirst quencher a refreshing twist by adding mint sprigs to your pitcher. Just add washed mint stems to a pitcher of lemonade, and let it sit at least 30 minutes. Strain before serving—or not. Serve over ice in tall glasses garnished with a mint stem and lemon wedge. Mint also blends well with iced tea and makes a cooling herb water. To maximize mint flavor, before adding leaves to your brew, crush them slightly to release essential oils. Bruised edges will brown, but it won’t harm your beverage. Simply strain leaves before serving.
If you want to lure pollinator insects to your garden, including lawn grub-eating beauties like this blue-winged wasp, grow a patch of mint and let it bloom. Mint flower spikes feature many small blossoms, the kind that pollinating insects can’t resist. Expect to see bees, beneficial wasps, flower flies, sweat bees and butterflies. If you want to harvest mint for drying, do so before flowers appear. Once blossoms start to form, the flavor profile of leaves shifts to become bitter.
Mints weave a striking tapestry in the vase, adding different leaf textures, colors and scents. Count on mint to hold its own as a centerpiece, or use it to add movement and refreshing green shades to other garden-fresh arrangements. A fresh mint bouquet inside offers an easy way to take a quick snip when prepping favorite dishes. In terms of flavor, mint is at its freshest when first picked. The longer mint sits in water, flavor notes shift and may become bitter, especially if you see roots forming along submerged stems.
Citrusy-smelling orange mint tea is best when served cold. Brighten its flavor by adding fresh orange and/or lemon juice, and garnishes of sliced oranges and lemons. It’s a refreshing beverage for warm summer days.
Mint tea is good for what ails you, and it whips up in a jiffy. Steep fresh (bruised) or dried leaves in hot water for a pure cup of natural goodness. Mint tea is a go-to cure for an upset stomach, indigestion, gas pain or cramping. Sip it warm and inhale the menthol aroma to help alleviate a stuffy nose, or drink it chilled for a refreshing cool drink.
Despite the name and some online reviews, chocolate peppermint doesn’t taste or smell strongly like chocolate. It bears more resemblance to a chocolate after dinner mint—a hint of chocolate and mint. Use leaves fresh or dried to flavor water or tea. The flavor is best when leaves are harvested before the plant flowers.
This diminutive beauty is content in even the smallest pot. Don’t let the small size fool you—this plant is big on fragrance. The leaves release a refreshing minty aroma when brushed. A sunny window yields best growth. Botanical name: Mentha requienii
Mint Country Bedroom
Mint green walls encompass the laminate flooring, wood-treated dresser, metallic wall hangings and neutral bed with layered throw pillows of this country bedroom. The soothing color scheme and plush, layered bedding create the perfect feel for this cozy bedroom.
Mint Green Wallpaper
This mint-green paper pays homage to vintage design — but features a modern twist. Image courtesy of Elli Popp.
Variegated Pineapple Mint
Mint is a workhorse in the garden when it comes to giving insects the brush off. To release the strong mint oils in leaves, brush against plants or crush leaves and rub on skin or clothing. Try tucking lightly bruised leaves (still attached to stems) into pockets or bouquets on your porch or patio to confuse and repel mosquitoes. This minty beauty (foreground) is variegated pineapple mint, but you can also use any mint, including spearmint, lemon mint or peppermint. Mints spread aggressively in the garden. Always plant it in containers, even in beds, keeping the edge of pots elevated at least an inch above soil. When mint flowers, the blooms attract beneficial insects, including ones that sting, like wasps. If you don’t want these insects near seating areas, keep plants trimmed so blooms don’t form.
Mint Chocolate Fizz
The Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, New York features a holiday sip for mint fans, the Mint Chocolate Fizz. Mint Chocolate Fizz 2 ounces vodka 1 ounce Godiva Chocolate Liqueur .5 ounce Creme de Menthe White 1 ounce chocolate milk 1 ounce simple syrup .5 ounce lemon juice 1 egg white Add ingredients and shake without ice for 60 seconds. Then add ice and shake for another 60 seconds. Double strain into a highball glass. Top with club soda, and garnish with mint.
Squash Mint Salad
Mint adds an alluring flavor to many vegetables, including peas, asparagus and carrots. In this rendition, mint kicks up the bite in a salad of ribbon-cut summer squash, peas, shaved ricotta cheese and green onions. Mint also plays well in a tomatillo and lime ceviche, pairs yummily with pork and helps cool spicy Indian food when blended with yogurt. Play with different mint varieties in the kitchen to find the flavor blends your family likes.
Mint In Garden
In the garden, mint can be a thug, growing aggressively and invading surrounding soil rapidly. It spreads by above- and underground stems. Planted near stepping stones or pavers, mint quickly grows around, beneath and between them. The best way to keep mint contained in the garden is to plant it in a submerged container that is at least several feet below soil. Allow a few inches of the container to extend above soil to keep mint from wandering out. This mint is effectively contained in a half-buried plastic trash can with drainage holes drilled in the bottom.
Heuchera ‘Mint Julep’
While you don’t often see heucheras grown as houseplants, these low-light perennials can be potted up in fall and briefly enjoyed indoors. Just be sure to return them to the garden when the weather warms back up. The plants, also known as coral bells, bloom in spring, so give them the cool, spring-like temperatures they prefer. They’ll also benefit from being housed in a deep pot, rather than a shallow one. Shown here: heuchera ‘Mint Julep’
‘Double Mint’ Gardenia
The classic corsage flower, gardenia delivers on fragrance—many times over. Pure white blooms contrast beautifully with waxy, deep green leaves. Plants grow 2 to 8 feet tall and wide, depending on type. The secret to a happy gardenia in the landscape is thick mulch, no soil disturbance (roots like to be left alone) and monthly feeding with an acid fertilizer, blood meal or fish emulsion. Hardy in Zones 7 to 10.
Mexican Mint Marigold
This beauty goes by many names: Texas tarragon, yerba anise and false tarragon. The leaves deliver an anise-like flavor that can sub for French tarragon in dishes. Gold blooms appear late in the season and linger into fall. Petals are edible and make a nice addition to autumn salads and desserts. Harvest leaves as needed, or pick many at once and air dry for long-term storage.