Entomologia experimentalis et applicata vol:104 issue:2-3 pages:281-288
In order to unravel the physiological, endocrine, and behavioral differences between gregarious and solitarious forms of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forsk.) (Orthoptera, Acrididae), a constant supply of rather large numbers of solitary individuals has to be guaranteed. This represents a bottleneck, mainly because of the intensity of the labor involved and limited laboratory accommodation. The method we describe here substantially reduces the space and manpower needed. The survival rate we obtained in the solitarised population was relatively high, reaching about 55%. The optimal rearing temperature proved to be 32-36degreesC. Cabbage leaves and oat flakes sufficed for feeding all year round. Special racks have been designed that enable high density stacking and easy handling. The solitarisation process was monitored over ten consecutive generations. Changes in morphometrics, eye stripes, color, and behavior were recorded, of which only morphometrics, temperature related development, and mortality are discussed. A shift towards the solitarious phase was recorded, with clear differences between gregarious, 1st generation and 7th to 10th generation solitarious locusts.