Swarming locusts are among the most serious pests in the world and can be extremely destructive to agriculture. Understanding the biological underpinnings of this behavior could lead to developing new, environmentally friendly ways of dealing with them.
These locusts are a single species of grasshopper that can transform its appearance and behavior, depending on its population density. When its population was low, the insects’ color was nondescript, and they avoided each other. When its population rose to a high density, however, they became brightly colored and formed swarms.
Hojun Song, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Central Florida, is working to understand why some species of grasshoppers become locusts.
Read the full article here: Controlling destructive locusts by manipulating their genetics