What Do Locusts Want?


Most of the time, desert locusts live a solitary existence.  But when they experience a sudden spike in serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in all animals, it's time to swarm! Scientists at the University of Oxford recently found a close connection between the levels of serotonin in
the insects' bodies and how
sociable they became.

"Locusts switch into swarm behavior based on two cues: when they see and
smell other locusts for an extended period or when their hind legs are
constantly jostled."

Just  so you know: when locusts are green (above) they are feeling  mellow, when dark-colored they are ready to party.

Photo by Tim Fayle

Link - via news

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by \'\'Marilyn Terrell.

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Nevermind to that. If anyone is interested, locusts are swarming grasshoppers. Seven year locusts are cicadas, and belong to a different family, as do Magicicada, which are usually known as 13-year or 17-year locusts in North America.
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This is probably a stupid question, but what's the difference between a grasshopper, a cicada, and a locust?

When I search locusts, like the one pictured here, I find what people in my area have always called grasshoppers. What people in my area refer to as locusts (the ones that swarm every 7 years), seem to be cicadas. I suppose they're all closely related? I'm researching, but I'd appreciate if anyone knows the answer.
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