By TammyWhite
354 days ago

How a little beautiful grasshopper can be so destructive

As if it were Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, a green grasshopper that gives nice jumps in the lawn a garden can be transformed into a destructive lobster. When he leads a solitary life he has the color of the fresh herbs he inhabits and eats, but his color and personality change when he starts to live with many more of his peers. With them, it forms voracious swarms that destroy all the crops that are in its path.

This spectacular transformation occurs in 10 of the 8,000 species of locusts that are known. They inhabit a very wide area of ​​the planet, up to 20% of the continents, from the west of Africa to the height of Mauritania to the northwest of India passing through the Sahara, East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Also in the United States and large areas of China and Australia.

The swarms can cover surfaces of up to 1200 square kilometers, with a density of up to 80 million lobsters per square kilometers. They can advance about 200 kilometers a day with the wind in favor and reach 2000 meters high, cross mountains, such as the Atlas mountain range or seas such as Red. They devour crops in less than a day. The largest swarms can devour 100,000 tons of plants per day. They are a ruin for farmers and cause famines.

The transformation occurs when the environmental conditions are favorable for the life of these animals. In the areas where the vegetation lives, it is dispersed and the populations of lobsters are usually moderate. But when the spring rains are intense the plants grow generously, the available food increases and the pests are produced.

Under these conditions, more eggs hatch than usual and an enormous number gather around the same food points. When they are so many that their hind legs collide with those of the neighbor, the body asks for a change. That is when they become lobsters: they change from green to yellow and black, shorten their body and increase the size of their brain.

In the laboratory, scientists have observed how a solitary locust changes to the look of gregarious lobster in just two hours just by hitting some spine-like structures on its legs to simulate the conditions of overcrowding. They have also found that while the change occurs, a large amount of serotonin accumulates in the nervous system of the thorax. In humans, this hormone has to do with pleasure and well-being; Having low levels is an unequivocal symptom of depression.

After the metamorphosis, they release pheromones that attract them to each other, and reproduce wildly until they form a gigantic swarm. In communion they leave for the world in search of more food.


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soncee Beautiful
fabio26 beautiful flower and wonderful dear photo
Violeta Lovely
ORourkeDesigns Gorgeous Lilly and yes those can be a big problem. I recall when I lived in Europe one year we had a very locusts year all of the vegetation was gone within 48 hours and we were all locked inside our homes they were every where. They also can be extremely loud when in swarms. Great article me dear.