FAQ Locust | Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage | GOI

FAQ Locust

What is SDA?

SDA means Scheduled Desert Area (SDA) In India it is spread over an area of 2.05 sq km in the state of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana.

What is a Desert Locust?

The Desert Locust is one of about a dozen species of short-horned grasshoppers (Acridoidea) that are known to change their behaviour and form swarms of adults or bands of hoppers (wingless nymphs). The swarms that form can be dense and highly mobile. The scientific name for Desert Locust is Schistocerca gregaria (Forskal).

How many species of locusts are there in world and India?

There are 10 important species of locusts in the world listed below.


S. No. English Name Scientific Name
1. The Desert Locust Schistocerca gregaria
2. The Bombay Locust Nomadacris succincta
3. The Migratory Locust Locusts migratoria manilensis;
Locusta migratoria migratoria-oides
4. The Italian Locust Calliptamus italicus
5. The Moroccan Locust Dociostaurus morocannus
6. The Red Locust Nomadacris septemfaciata
7. The Brown Locust Locustana pardalina
8. The South American Locust Schistocerca paranensis
9. The Australian Locust Chortoicetes termenifera
10. The Tree Locust Anacridium Spp.

Only four types of locust viz., Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria),Migratory locust (Locusta migratoria) Bombay Locust (Nomadacris succincta) and Tree locust (Anacridium sp.)are reported in India. The desert locust is most important pest in India as well as in intercontinental context.

In which year Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) is established ?

Locust Warning Organization (LWO) established in 1939, later merged with (Directorate of Plant Protection Quarantine and Storage) DPPQ&S in 1946.

What are the duties being performed by the LWO?

Every year LWO undertake Locust surveillance & monitoring in SDA, Coordinate other stake holders on locust situation, issuing locust situation Bulletins, organising Border meetings and conducting Farmer Field Schools (FFSs) programme in LWO/ LCO’s in Rabi season. Besides undertake control operations during locust upsurge/incursion.

Is there any border meeting conducting between the nations?

Yes. There are regular meetings of Indo-Pak Border at active locust season.

What is the difference between locusts and grasshoppers?

Locusts are part of a large group of insects commonly called grasshoppers which have big hind legs for jumping. Locusts belong to the family called Acrididae. Locusts differ from grasshoppers in that they have the ability to change their behaviour and habits and can migrate over large distances.

What is the History of locust invasion in India?

Historically, the Desert Locust has always been a major threat to man’s well-being. The Desert Locust is mentioned as curse to mankind in ancient writings viz. Old Testament-Bible and the Holy Koran. The magnitude of the damage and loss caused by the locusts is very gigantic beyond imagination as they have caused the starvation due to its being polyphagous feeder, and on an average small locust swarm eats as much food in one day as about 10 elephants, 25 camels or 2500 people. Locust do cause damage by devouring the leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, bark and growing points and also by breaking down trees because of their weight when they settle down in masses.

What countries are affected by the Desert Locust?

The invasion area of desert locust covers about 30 million sq km which includes whole or parts of nearly 64 countries. This includes countries like North West and East African countries, Arabian Peninsula, the Southern Republic of erstwhile USSR, Iran, Afghanistan, the Indian sub-continent. During recession periods when locust occurs in low densities, it inhabits a broad belt of arid and semi-arid land which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to North West India. Thus, it covers over 16 millions sq kms in 30 countries.

How many breeding seasons are there for Locusts?

In all there are three breeding seasons for locusts (i)Winter breeding [November to December], (ii) Spring breeding [January to June] and (iii) Summer breeding [July to October]. India has only one locust breeding season and that is Summer breeding. The neighboring country Pakistan has both spring and summer breeding.

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