The Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera, is the most important pest species of locust in Australia due to the large areas infested, the frequency of outbreaks and its ability to produce several generations in a year.
Description of an Australian plague locust
Biology and behaviour of the Australian plague locust
Distribution of the Australian plague locust
Embryonic stages of the Australian plague locust
Photos of Australian plague locust egg beds, egg pods and hatching
Plague locust habitats
When locust migration goes wrong
Adults of the Australian plague locust can be readily distinguished from other species by the large dark spot on the tip of the hindwings and distinctive scarlet hindleg shanks. Adult body colour is variable and can be grey, brown or green. Adult males measure 25-30 mm long while females are 30-42 mm long. See also: How to tell the difference between a male and female locust.
Adult Australian plague locust
Dark spot on locust hindwing
The nymphs have five growth stages or instars.
Fifth instar Australian plague locust nymph
First instar nymphs are about 3mm long, pale brown to dark brown or black, and sometimes have a white stripe along the back of its first body segment just behind the head. At each stage the developing wings become more noticable and can be used to determine which instar a locust nymph is in.
Later instars are grey or brown and sometimes have a white stripe along the back. Further details about this species: Distribution, Biology, Locust and grasshopper identification guide