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      The 2019–2020 upsurge of the desert locust and its impact in Pakistan

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      Journal of Orthoptera Research

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          The recent upsurge of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål, 1775) has had an impact on East Africa and the Middle East as far as India. It has affected and slowed down many aspects of the Pakistani economy. Swarms of locusts have infested many areas and caused immense damage to all types of crops. Both farmers and economists are concerned and are trying to get the most up-to-date information on the best strategy to manage this pest. This paper is an attempt to (i) provide insight into the dynamics of this upsurge internationally as well as in the various regions of Pakistan, (ii) briefly assess its local impact and locust control measures, and (iii) clarify the role of the various stakeholders in the management, both nationally and internationally, suggesting various improvements for the future.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Biological control of locusts and grasshoppers.

          Control of grasshoppers and locusts has traditionally relied on synthetic insecticides, and for emergency situations this is unlikely to change. However, a growing awareness of the environmental issues associated with acridid control as well as the high costs of emergency control are expanding the demand for biological control. In particular, preventive, integrated control strategies with early interventions will reduce the financial and environmental costs associated with large-scale plague treatments. The recent development of effective oil formulations of Metarhizium anisopliae spores in Africa, Australia, and Brazil opens new possibilities for environmentally safe control operations. Metarhizium biopesticide kills 70%-90% of treated locusts within 14-20 days, with no measurable impact on nontarget organisms. An integrated pest management strategy, with an emphasis on the use of Metarhizium, that incorporates rational use of chemical pesticides with biological options such as the microsporidian Nosema locustae and the hymenopteran egg parasitoids Scelio spp., has become a realistic option.
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            Spatial scales of desert locust gregarization.

            Central to swarm formation in migratory locusts is a crowding-induced change from a "solitarious" to a "gregarious" phenotype. This change can occur within the lifetime of a single locust and accrues across generations. It represents an extreme example of phenotypic plasticity. We present computer simulations and a laboratory experiment that show how differences in resource distributions, conspicuous only at small spatial scales, can have significant effects on phase change at the population level; local spatial concentration of resource induces gregarization. Simulations also show that populations inhabiting a locally concentrated resource tend to change phase rapidly and synchronously in response to altered population densities. Our results show why information about the structure of resource at small spatial scales should become key components in monitoring and control strategies.
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              Locust Phase Polyphenism: An Update

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
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                Journal
                Journal of Orthoptera Research
                JOR
                Pensoft Publishers
                1937-2426
                1082-6467
                October 07 2021
                October 07 2021
                : 30
                : 2
                : 145-154
                Article
                10.3897/jor.30.65971
                © 2021

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