1. Australian Plague Locust: Chortoicetes terminifera

Adult description 1 of 15

Graphic: side view of an Australian plague locust - note red shanks on rear legs. Graphic: top view of an adult Australian plague locust - note dark spot on tip of hind wing.

Size: Females 30 to 45 mm, males 20 to 30 mm long.

Adult Description: Colour varies from brown to green. In profile the head is higher than the saddle shaped thorax and the wings have a dark spot at the end. When spread the hind wing is clear except for this spot which looks like an elongated dark smudge. Thorax has an 'X' shaped mark as seen above. The rear legs have a reddish shank (tibia). When approached, individuals have the habit of flying away 5 to 10 metres and turning to face you as they land. Some grasshoppers have similar habits but the plague locust has a particular movement you will soon learn to recognise. Throat peg absent.

Confusion with other adults: Several grasshoppers have a smoky tip to the hind wing, but not a distinct dark spot. Compare photos of adults with similar species: | Austroicetes | Aiolopus | Caledia | Heteropternis | Oedaleus | Peakesia | Urnisa |

Unique features: The combination of the dark spot on otherwise clear hind wings, the 'X' mark on top of the thorax and the red shanks or tibia. Forms swarms when numbers are high, and flying individuals turn around to face observer at the end of a flight.

Further information on this species: Description of nymph, More images, Distribution, Biology

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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