What is a Desert Locust?
The Desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) is one of about a dozen species of short-horned grasshoppers (Acridoidea).
Where do they breed?
For laying eggs, they require bare ground, which is rarely found in areas with dense vegetation. So, they can breed in Rajasthan but not in the Indo-Gangetic plains or Godavari and Cauvery delta.
Where are they found?
During quiet periods, known as recessions, Desert Locusts are usually found only in the semi-arid and arid deserts of Africa, the Near East and South-West Asia that receive less than 200 mm of rain annually.
When weather and habitat conditions are right for reproduction, multiple generations of locusts can be born and form swarms that invade countries that don’t usually have locust problems.
How big are the swarms?
The swarms can be anything from under one km2 to several hundred km2. There can be from 40 million to 80 million adult locusts in each square kilometre of a swarm.