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What are locusts?

Are locusts just another name for certain types of grasshoppers, or are they actually different from grasshoppers?

Can someone point me to a picture of a real locust?

I ask because we have some large (3 inch), single-colored grasshoppers which we call locusts. They are usually brown, no markings, and their eyes are often the same tan or brown color of their body.

Thank you.

some references
Rocky Mtn Locust (extinct?) & Migratory locust. Although presumably extinct, remains of the Rocky Mtn Locust can be found buried in glaciers.

Thanks everyone. That clears
Thanks everyone. That clears it up. I thought the large grasshoppers here in the US were called locusts but I guess we don't have "real" locusts.

 
Not quite true
Those large grasshoppers are more likely than not members of the groups that can develop into locusts- I guess you could call them "potential locusts". While it doesn't happen often in our area, it does occasionally.

Locusts...
...are the giant radioactive mutant versions of regular grasshoppers.



Nah, I kid. What Eric Eaton said. There is also an Old World species actually named Locusta migratoria...it's the insect that likely inspired the Biblical 'swarms of locusts'. The following link opens up a page with some photos of this locust in action (scroll down a bit), followed by another that has good (clickable) pictures of it.

http://os2001.cirad.fr/E/Gallery-links.htm

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanderheuschrecken

Locusts.
"Locust" is the term for the migratory phase of some grasshopper species, especially those in the genera Schistocerca, Locusta, and Melanoplus. When nymphs of some populations reach a critical mass, and they are literally rubbing up against each other, the crowded conditions trigger a change in metamorphosis resulting in a sleeker-than-normal adult. The wings are longer, and there are other subtle differences from adults in less-crowded populations. The changes serve to make the grasshoppers able to endure long flights, often aided by the strong winds ahead of storms. The locusts literally get blown along, but they settle frequently to eat essentially every green living plant, and their own dead, in the vicinity. I once saw a slide presentation where a 'plague' of Melanoplus in Oregon had stripped a JUNIPER tree! You know you have a problem when even junipers are defoliated. Luckily, such phenomena are relatively rare, at least here in the states. There is virtually nothing that can stop them.

 
Wow
I didn't know that! I thought they were just a different sort of insect that looked rather like grasshoppers. Fascinating!

Here in Lancaster County, folks often call Cicadas "Locusts". It is a major pet peeve of mine! I am forever correcting people {nicely} about this. Now I can get even more specific!

Thanks again Eric!

 
There's actually an image in Frass
of a European post which should be around for a few more days before it disappears

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