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The Amazing Locust

Updated on August 23, 2017

The Amazing Locust - Friend or Foe

Since ancient times, locust plagues have been viewed as one of the most spectacular events in nature. In seemingly spontaneous fashion, as many as 10 billion critters can suddenly swarm the air and carpet the ground, blazing destructive paths that bring starvation and economic ruin. What makes them do it?

I call them amazing because although they are destructive and, yes, ugly, they are also useful. First let's see how destructive they really are.

Photo: Courtesy of: IRIN news

Many Thanks to the SquidTeam

I appreciate it!

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Travels in Arabia Deserta: Volume 1 - by: Charles Montagu Doughty

Writing in Travels in Arabia Deserta, Charles M. Doughty describes a locust invasion:

"The clouds of the second locust brood . . . wreathing and flickering as motes in the sunbeam, flew over us for some days, thick as rain, from near the soil to great height in the atmosphere. They alight as birds, letting down their long shanks to the ground; these invaded the booths, and for blind hunger, even bit our shins, as we sat at coffee. They are borne freely flying at the wind's list, as in the Psalms, 'I am tossed up and down as the locust.' . . . "

Travels in Arabia Deserta: Volume 1
Travels in Arabia Deserta: Volume 1

It is wonderful to learn about the Peraea; Ammon and Moab and Moslem friends and travel along with Charles M. Doughty in the Arabea Desert.


Travels in Arabia Deserta: Volume 2 - by: Charles Montagu Doughty

"The children bring in gathered locusts, broached upon a twig, and the nomads toast them on the coals; then plucking the scorched members, they break away the head, and the insect body which remains is good meat; but not of these latter swarms, born in time of the dried-up herbiage."

Travels in Arabia Deserta: Volume 2
Travels in Arabia Deserta: Volume 2

Learn about the hospitable goodness of the nomad.


Travels in Arabia Deserta - by Charles M. Doughty

A plague of locusts is a devastating natural disaster. These infestations have been feared and revered throughout history. Unfortunately, they still wreak havoc today.

LOCUSTS CROSS THE ATLANTIC - How did they fly all the way across the ocean?

Using DNA evidence, researchers have reconstructed the relationships among insects of the genus Schistocerca, a diverse group of locust species found throughout the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

"Our results show that the first Schistocerca species was the African desert locust," said Nathan Lovejoy, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto at Scarborough in Canada.

"This suggests that Schistocerca originated in Africa and somehow dispersed across the Atlantic."

But how did the locusts get all the way across the ocean?

"Swarms take flight during the day, increasing the possibility that thermal updrafts will carry the insects to high altitudes where they can be transported by fast-moving, upper-level wind currents," Lovejoy said.

We know locusts simply don't have enough stored fat to sustain flight long enough to cross the Atlantic.

One possibility is that among the many millions of swarming locust were a few truly exceptional insects with sufficient fat stores to somehow survive the trip.

In October 1988 a swarm of desert locust crossed the Atlantic travelling from Africa to the Caribbean. Island residents said the locusts were flying in huge swarms and came in multiple waves, apparently ruling out this "few lucky individuals" hypothesis.

RAFTS OF THE DEAD - Or is this the way they crossed the ocean?

Another possibility is that locusts flying at the front of the swarm may have become exhausted and died in the ocean, forming floating rafts of dead insects. Other members of the swarm could have landed on these rafts.

"Locusts are quite cannibalistic, so it seems very likely that they could have fed upon the corpses below, thereby obtaining enough energy to sustain additional flight," said Greg Sword, a research ecologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Because a single swarm can contain billions of locusts, it could create a series of "rafts of the dead" and still contain enough live insects to reach the Americas in large numbers.

Greg interviewed people in Barbados who said they saw piles of locusts washing up on beaches for days in 1988, consistent with the idea that the surviving locust could have rested on such rafts.

Although it seems extraordinary, this is perhaps the most likely hypothesis" to explain how the locusts could cross the Atlantic.

LOCUSTS In the Bible - Mentioned many times!

As a student of the Bible, I found it interesting that the locust is mentioned so many times therein.

Of the several Hebrew words rendered "locust," 'ar-beh' appears most frequently and is understood to refer to the migratory locust, the insect in its fully developed, winged stage. (Le 11:22,) The Hebrew word 'ye-leq' refers to the creeping, wingless locust, that is, one that is at an immature stage of development. (Ps 105:34 ; Joel 1:4) The Hebrew term 'sol-am' (edible locust) possibly refers to a leaper and not a flier. (Le 11:22) A locust swarm is denoted by the Hebrew term 'goh-vai'. (Am 7:1) The Greek word 'a-kris' is rendered 'insect locust' and 'locust.'-Mt 3:4; Re 9:7.

The locust is equipped with two pairs of wings, four walking legs, and two much longer leaper legs with broad thighs. The wide, transparent back wings, when not in use, lie folded under the thick membranous front wings. By means of its leaper legs, the insect is able to jump many times the length of its body. (See Job 39:20.)

In Scripture the locust is at times used to represent innumerableness.-Jg 6:5; 7:12; Jer 46:23; Na 3:15, 17.


The Law designated locusts as clean for food. (Le 11:21, 22) John the Baptizer, in fact, subsisted on insect locusts and honey. (Mt 3:4)

Today locusts are eaten by some Arabs. After having the head, legs, and wings removed, the locusts are dropped into meal and fried in oil or butter. These insects are said to taste something like shrimp or crab and are rich in protein; desert locusts, according to an analysis made at Jerusalem, consist of 75 percent protein. (It would take a lot of persuading before I would eat insects directly.)


In Bible times a locust plague was a severe calamity and, on occasion, an expression of God's judgment, as was the eighth plague on ancient Egypt. (Ex 10:4-6, 12-19; De 28:38; 1Ki 8:37; 2Ch 6:28; Ps 78:46; 105:34)

Locusts, brought by the wind, arrive suddenly, but the sound of their coming, compared in Scripture to that of chariots and of a fire consuming stubble (Joe 1:4), can, it is said, be heard at a distance of about 10 km (6 mi).The following Biblical description of a locust plague is no exaggeration: "As with the rumble of chariots they leap on the mountaintops; as with the crackling of a fiery flame devouring stubble; like a mighty people arrayed for battle. Before them peoples are in torment, every face blanches. They assault the city, they run upon the wall, they climb into the houses; in at the windows they come like thieves. Before them the earth trembles, the heavens shake; the sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withhold their brightness." -Joel 2:5, 6, 9, 10, (New American Bible)

Their flight is largely dependent on the wind, which, when favorable, enables them to cover many kilometers. Locust swarms have even been seen by persons at sea more than 1,600 km (1,000 mi) from land. Unfavorable winds, though, can drive them into the water to their death. (Ex 10:13, 19)

An invasion of locusts can transform a land from a paradise-like state into a wilderness, for their appetite is voracious. (Joel 2:3)


A swarm of locusts progresses like a well-organized, disciplined fighting force, but without king or leader, this testifying to their instinctive wisdom. (Pr 30:24, 27)

Even though many perish, the onslaught continues. Fires built to check their advance are extinguished by the bodies of the dead locusts. Water-filled ditches are of no avail in impeding their progress, for these likewise become filled with their dead bodies and they march on. (Joel 2:7-9)


Research indicates that the life span of the locust is between four and six months. Appropriately, therefore, the symbolic locusts of Revelation 9:5 are said to torment men for five months, or what would commonly be their full life span.

When describing Assyria's military men, Nahum 3:16 mentions the locust's stripping off of its skin. The locust sheds its skin five times to reach adult size.

At Nahum 3:17 the Assyrian guardsmen and recruiting officers are compared to locusts that camp in stone pens during a cold day but flee when the sun shines forth. The allusion here may be to the fact that cold weather makes the insects numb, causing them to hide in the crevices of walls until such time as they are warmed by the sun's rays, after which they fly away. It is reported that not until their bodies reach about 21° C. (70° F.) can locusts fly.

Marauding Locusts - Infestations

Locusts are insects small in themselves, but when they migrate in a swarm they are mighty for their numerousness as a group, a united band. So numerous are they that their swarm will cover square miles of area, and they fly along with a roaring noise like a cataract. They literally darken the heavens and cast a great shadow upon the ground.

The life cycle of the locust (schistocerca [or split-tailed] gregaria) is about six months. So for that length of time the locust can do damage. On earth the locusts, with no visible king, move in bands and maintain a unity of action necessary for survival.

Swarm in Cancun, Mexico - Sept. 2006


It hasn't yet reached biblical proportions, but the plague of locusts currently infesting the Mexican resort town of Cancún has some residents looking to the heavens for help.

Clouds of hungry hoppers have been swarming the area for three weeks, devouring 2,500 acres (1,000 hectares) of outlying farmland and making a simple walk in the country slow going for four-year-old Diana Rubi Pech Dzu (pictured).

Nearly a year ago, Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula was ravaged by Hurricane Wilma, a Category Three storm that wrought hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in damage to the resort-rich state of Quintana Roo (see Mexico map).

This year it's the lack of hurricanes that's part of the problem, as hot weather has sparked a heavy breeding season for locusts but none of the windy storms that help keep the bugs at bay.

Now local officials are taking on a war footing to tackle the threat, dispatching squads armed with motorized pesticide pumps to conduct nightly raids on the insects as they rest in the fields.

"It is a war, effectively," German Parra, a local agriculture official, told the Reuters news agency.

And with no tropical storms in sight, there's little hope that his forces will get any backup from above.

"We hope that God will take pity on us and help us," Parra said.

How locusts perceive the signal to swarm.

Watch this video. It's not for the faint of heart.

Other Interesting Facts About Locusts

Photo contributed by:Will Borden

How would you like to see this monster looking in the window at you? Really it is only a grasshopper! Once we know that, we are not afraid.

Locusts are related to grasshoppers and the two insects look similar. However, locust behavior can be something else entirely. Locusts are sometimes solitary insects with lifestyles much like grasshoppers. But locusts have another behavioral phase called the "gregarious" phase. When environmental conditions produce many green plants and promote breeding, locusts can congregate into thick, mobile, ravenous swarms.

Locust swarms devastate crops and cause major agricultural damage and attendant human misery-famine and starvation. They occur in many parts of the world, but today locusts are most destructive in sustenance farming regions of Africa.

The desert locust is notorious. Found in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, they inhabit some 60 countries and can cover one-fifth of Earth's land surface. Desert locust plagues may threaten the economic livelihood of one-tenth of the world's humans.

A desert locust swarm can be 460 square miles (1,200 square kilometers) in size and pack between 40 and 80 million locusts into less than half a square mile (one square kilometer).Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day, so a swarm of such size would eat 423 million pounds (192 million kilograms) of plants every day.

A single migratory locust consumes its own body weight in food in a day; that is proportionately 60 to 100 times as much as a human consumes. They eat not only greenery but also linen, wool, silk, and leather, not even sparing the varnish on the furniture as they penetrate the houses. The daily food consumption of a large swarm has been estimated as equaling that of a million and a half men.

Like the individual locust , swarms are typically in motion and can cover vast distances. In 1954, a swarm flew from northwest Africa to Great Britain. In 1988, another made the lengthy trek from West Africa to the Caribbean.

2008 - Not under control yet.

Locust reports increase in NSW and Victoria

By Bruce Reynolds

Landholders in central and southern New South Wales and northern Victoria have been urged to keep reporting plague locusts outbreaks.

In New South Wales there have now been around 700 confirmed sighting of the pest.

Landholders across New South Wales have heard the call and reported bands of locusts on their properties.

More than 1,000 landholders have now reported the insect pest on their properties.

While the heaviest infestations are in the south of the state, around the Riverina, there have been widespread outbreaks in central parts of the state.

2009 Report - Good advice for the farmers

Read what advice is given to the farmers. It sounds to me as though, if this is not followed, Nebraska could have a full scaled plague on their hands/lands.

From: The Grant Tribune Sentinel.

Heavy grasshopper presence means caution for winter wheat planting. Even with rain in some areas of the state this summer, grasshopper activity has been very high in many parts of Nebraska. With upcoming winter wheat ...

Videos of Locust Plagues - Not for the faint of heart!




Keen to find an effective way of controlling locust swarms, such as those that are currently plaguing large regions of Africa, The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has tested a chemical that stops the insects from synthesising a chemical found in their hard outer shell. In principle, such a technique would prevent juvenile locusts from developing a new coat after they discard their first one in the process of moulting.


There have been increasing constraints on use of insecticides in areas of endangered or vulnerable species, waterways, school bus routes, farm dams, residential areas and organic production areas. As a result CSIRO has developed "Green Guard" Metarhizium fungus, an alternative biological control method that occurs naturally in the Australian environment. Spores are suspended in mineral or vegetable oil and sprayed onto pastures or crops and are harmless to all organisms other than locusts and grasshoppers.

What is your opinion? - DDT?

Interesting research has come out citing a link between the brain chemical serotonin and forming locust gangs.

Malcolm Burrows states that giving the locust serotonin transforms them within a couple of hours. The creature changes color and then searches out other locusts accumulating gangs of millions. This research is being regarded as a breakthrough in sorts as a way to stop the formation of these destructive gangs.

And then there are those who say, "Petroleum, DDT, just kill them any way you can! "

Should we be messing with nature?

Those Amazing Locusts

Are they actually good for something?


In Saudi Arabia, it is considered a delicacy, and fetches up to 200 US Dollars per kilogram! However, because of heavy use of pesticides to spray the swarms, eating them may be unsafe in such areas. While the government in Yemen is preparing to fight the swarms, the Yemenis are welcoming the locusts in order to eat them! Whether roasted, salted or boiled, they are an eagerly awaited delicacy over there.

Deep-fried locust anyone? - An answer to our looming food crisis?

It's time insects were seen as another source of protein. The problem is how to make them desirable.

As with gingerbread men and gummy bears, the dilemma when served a locust is whether to begin eating it head or legs first. I think I would choose to start with the six little legs (I'd need to fold them in a bit because they would no doubt tend to trail out of the mouth otherwise), then the abdomen and finally (gulp) the head. Crunch, crunch, swallow. Think: bbq prawns, but unshelled.

I'll be honest, deep-fried locust is not the most delicious snack I've ever imagined having. But on a long road trip through Cambodia, it would be cheap, filling and tasty enough - more than can be said for most motorway service station food in Britain and less frightening than other menu options in the region. Goat-scrotum hotpot, anyone?

In south-east Asia, insects are an important part of the daily diet for millions of people. Crickets, cockroaches, locusts and other bugs and grubs are sold across the region by roadside vendors and in smart restaurants. They are harvested commercially and by home producers, providing vital income for struggling farmers. Often, insects are the only source of income for women earners, who rig polythene awnings above a fluorescent tube-light to trap flying insects after dark.

Insects are plentiful, multiply and grow to adulthood rapidly and require little food to sustain them. They are the perfect source of protein. As countries in the west and developing world wake up to the looming threat of food shortages, it's time that governments seriously considered an alternative source of protein. Could insects provide food security for the coming centuries?

Interestingly enough, as far back as 2008, scientists from around the world convened in Thailand for a United Nations convention to discuss offsetting rising meat consumption with insects.

Grasshopper tacos and cicada ice cream - create a buzz


According to a report from Relaxnews "restaurateurs in the US have been spreading their wings recently, selling insect-inspired food items like grasshopper tacos and cicada ice cream."

Some places involved:

According to a report from San Francisco TV station ABC: La Oaxaquena Bakery and Restaurant have been selling a specialty of Mexico's Oaxaca region - deep-fried grasshopper tacos. This dish has been described as tasting like MacDonald's 'McNuggets' with a "crackle crunch."

Columbia, Missouri, USA: The employees of an ice creamery collected winged, bug-eyed critters from their backyards, boiling them, and coating them in brown sugar, reports The Atlantic Wire. The candied cicadas were then added to an ice cream base of brown sugar and butter.

These proved to be most popular - within hours of its launch, the ice cream sold out.

In the above two cases public health officials have been bugging out, ordering the SanFrancisco Mexican restaurant and ice creamery in Missouri to stop selling their fried and candied critters.

Other sources of buggery

Santa Monica, California, USA: Singapore-style scorpions, Taiwanese crickets - stir-fried, with raw garlic, chili pepper and Asian basil - and Thai silkworm pupae, stir fried with hot spicy dipping sauce may be purchased at Typhoon Restaurant.

And although Entomophagy, the eating of bugs, is common across Africa, Asia and the Americas it is still considered an anomaly among squeamish consumers in Western countries.

The truth now ....

Vancouver, B.C. Canada:

At Vij's, a famous fine-dining Indian restaurant, crickets are ground into a flour to make their spicy flatbread paratha.

Would you eat at a restaurant that served it?

See results

LOCUST INSPIRED TECHNOLOGY - No more vehicle accidents


It is calculated tha upward of half the number of accidents could be prevented with effective crash-avoidance technologies, which the automobile industry views as the future of car safety. Now wouldn't that be great!

Together with colleagues from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, the National Center of Microelectronics in Seville, Spain, and the Volvo Car Corporation in Göteborg, Sweden, Rind is developing crash-avoidance technology based on locusts' navigational skills.


Locusts have a large neuron called the locust giant movement detector (LGMD) located behind their eyes. The LGMD releases bursts of energy whenever a locust is on a collision course with another locust or a predatory bird.

These spikes of energy, called action potentials, prompt the locusts to take evasive action. The entire process from motion detection to reaction takes about 45 milliseconds-or 45 thousandths of a second. This means they can react in time to things that are approaching very rapidly and so make their escape before collision.

The locusts' ability to see many more images per second than humans gives them a remarkable view of the world. For humans, it would be like watching everything go by in slow motion.

And because the insects only detect things that are on a collision course with them, the locusts are ignorant of all other movements. It's a particularly useful trait, as the locusts travel in dense swarms akin to rush hour traffic.

"The [LGMD] system is complemented by the brain of the locust, which provides the necessary experience and knowledge to really react according to the situation," said Jorge Cuadri, a project engineer with Spain's National Center of Microelectronics. Cuadri is helping to develop the circuitry for the locust-inspired crash avoidance technology.



Robotic insect eyes designed by Australian scientists have been bought by NASA for use on a Mars probe, Researchers at the Australian National University based the design of the artificial sensors on the eyes of locusts. The report says that "the university's biorobotic vision laboratory has spent years observing how locusts, bees and dragonflies use vision to control their flight. They have deduced the rules that govern flight and created mathematical algorithms to replicate them." NASA wants to attach the artificial locust eyes to a tiny probe that will "dart just above the craggy Mars terrain without crashing or colliding, just like an insect." If successful, the probe will "examine the rock stratification of the grandest canyon in the solar system-the 4000km-long [2,500 mile], 7km-deep [4 mile] Valles Marineris, in a bid to reveal the geological history of the red planet."

Research - University of California


Question: How many eyes does a locust have?

Answer: FIVE - 3 simple eyes and 2 compound

Wide-angled lenses have been taken to a new dimension. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have created a series of artificial compound eyes modelled after the eyes of insects.

A flat array of tiny convex lenses is used to make the artificial compound eyes. The microlenses are arranged in a hexagonal honeycomb pattern, then used as a template for a thin coating of an elastic polymer, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Once hardened, the PDMS layer becomes a mould for the manufacture of bug-eye lenses. The lenses are made of an epoxy resin that hardens, forming self-written waveguides, upon exposure to focussed beams of ultraviolet light.

The new bug-eye lenses offer a much wider field of vision than conventional convex and fish-eye lenses allow. Being more space-efficient, the lenses will eventually be put to use in ultrathin cameras, surveillence, high-speed motion detecting and in medical procedures that require imaging.


Doris Lessing, the English writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature for the year 2007, vividly described a locust attack in her short story titled "A Mild Attack of Locusts". The story, published in the February 26, 1955 issue of The New Yorker, is set in the South African countryside and describes how a family of farmers attempts to resist the attack, to prevent and minimize the damage and to come to terms with the loss of crops.

Chinua Achebe has a swarm of locusts as a gleefully-received human food source in his 1958 novel "Things Fall Apart."

In "Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtry, the cow herd experiences being in the path of a swarm of locusts whose passage lasts several hours and which strips the prairie grass around them down to the nub, and even chews on the cowboys' clothing.

In the graphic novel "Bone," the main villain is called The Lord of the Locusts because a giant swarm of locusts make up her living matter.

Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart

Okonkwo's story is a relevant one even at a time when cultural and political imperialism has turned away from Africa toward the Middle East, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. But more important than its relevance is its artistry: it is a deceptively simple epic tale somehow packed into just over 200 pages, and one of the most impressive first novels on record. Don't miss it.

Lonesome Dove: A Novel
Lonesome Dove: A Novel

Even if you've never read a western book in your life, this is a literary masterpiece, the Shakespeare of the range, so to speak.

Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic in One Volume
Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic in One Volume

Somewhere between Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, this book tells it's tale of war, power, secret pasts, and secret pacts while never forgetting the air of fun that the book is filled with from the first page.

This book is an unbelievable accomplishment. 13 years in the making, Bone holds reader interest and remains compelling and page-turning from beginning to end.


ON THE BANKS OF PLUM CREEK - Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder writes of a "glittering cloud" of locusts so large it blocked out the sun as it approached. The swarm descended upon her family's farm near Walnut Grove, Minnesota, destroying a months wheat crop and stripping the prairie bare of all vegetation.

On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House, Book 4)
On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House, Book 4)

This book has a lot of surprising, unpredictable, and very exciting events. If I could rate this book on a scale of one through ten, I would give this book a ten. Once I started to read, I couldn't put it down. This book is fantastic and is great for every age, and should be enjoyed by everyone. If you're looking for a great book that will excite, delight, surprise, and grasp your attention, "On the Banks of Plum Creek" is just the book you're looking for.



Released in 1978, the film "Days of Heaven" depicts a swarm of locusts ravaging wheat fields of the Texas Panhandle, and the efforts of farmhands to eradicate the infestation.

Days of Heaven (The Criterion Collection)
Days of Heaven (The Criterion Collection)

Most of the film was shot during the "magic hour"; that twilight period right before the sun sets. It creates a perfect backlight that if framed correctly can create haunting silhouettes. It seems as if there is always a ring of fire on the horizon that is slowly getting closer, which it in fact does. During the scene of the locust plague a lantern breaks in the wheat fields and the entire farm erupts into flames. It symbolizes rage in the characters as tensions mount, but I don't want to spoil anything for those who want to experience the film for the first time. All in all, this film is a visual feast that will stay in your mind's eye.


LOCUST SIGN - Swan Hill, Australia

Locust Sign - Australia - Jonathan O'Donnell's flicker photo - locust sign
Locust Sign - Australia - Jonathan O'Donnell's flicker photo - locust sign

The Web address on the sign leads to the Victorian Department of Primary Industry's page on Australian Plague Locusts.

The Ant and The Grasshopper



The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.


by Bollywood Sargam Joker

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come the winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

The CBC shows up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. Canadians are stunned by the sharp contrast. How can it be that, in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Then a representative of the NAGB (The national association of green bugs) shows up on The National and charges the ant with green bias, and makes the case that the grasshopper is the victim of 30 million years of greenism. Kermit the Frog appears on the Nature of Things with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when he sings "It's not easy being green."

Jean Chretien makes a special guest appearance on the CBC Evening News to tell a concerned public that they will do everything they can for the grasshopper who has been denied the prosperity he deserves by those who benefited unfairly during the Reagan/Thatcher summers.

Sheila Copps exclaims in an interview with Peter Mansbridge that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share."

Finally, the Liberals draft the "Economic Equity and Anti-Greenism Act," retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

John Turner gets his law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal hearing officers that Chretien appointed from a list of single-parent welfare moms who can only hear cases on Thursday's between 1:30 and 3 PM. The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he's in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him since he doesn't know how to maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow. And on the TV, which the grasshopper bought by selling most of the ant's food, they are showing Jean Chretien standing before a wildly applauding group of liberals announcing that a new era of "fairness" has dawned in Canada.

Do you know the answer? - Hint: Look at the picture below.

It is probably something that most people don't think about. Usually we don't get close enough to find out before they leap.

How many legs has a locust?

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How many eyes?

Have a look up, up, up, under Research - University of California The correct answer is there.

NOW .. How many eyes has a locust?

See results

Locust (Grasshopper) humor - and other things

A locust plague is NOT funny but, I think we could use a bit of humor about now

Texans please don't take offence. A Texan in Australia A Texan farmer goes to Australia for a vacation. There he meets an Aussie farmer and gets talking. The Aussie shows off his big wheat field and the Texan says, "Oh! We have wheat fields that are at least twice as large". Then they walk around the ranch a little, and the Aussie shows off his herd of cattle. The Texan immediately says, " We have longhorns that are at least twice as large as your cows". The conversation has, meanwhile, almost died when the Texan sees a herd of kangaroos hopping through the field. He asks, "And what are those"? The Aussie replies with an incredulous look

Don't you have any grasshoppers in Texas"?

A grasshopper walks into a bar. The bartender says to him, "Hey we have drink named after you." The grasshopper replies, "You have a drink named Murray?"

Picking on the Texans - A Texan was riding a cab in Sydney. He and the driver are soon crossing the Sydney Harbor bridge, and the passenger is unimpressed -- "I have a duck pond bigger than that harbor, and an ornamental bridge to span it that makes this look like a toy." The Sydney-Newcastle expressway also gets his scorn -- "Is this a road, or a track?" So when a kangaroo jumped out in front of the cab, causing the sudden and severe application of the brakes, the driver couldn't help himself -- "Stupid grasshoppers!"

What is a grasshopper? An insect on a pogo stick!

One minister was teaching a fifth grade Sunday School class about the life of John. He told how John had lived in the wilderness with little or nothing to eat. He commented that John had eaten only honey and locusts. A little girl asked what locusts are. The minister said, "A locust is a grasshopper." The little girl said, "Oh, my grandmother drinks those."

"All of life is a series of leaps, for us grasshoppers." - Joseph

Trinkle did not possess a legal mind. He was a mental grasshopper, an intellectual kangaroo, a mind wallaby.

[from Beyond the Void by Fanthorpe, Robert L(ionel) (1935-) writing as John E. Muller]

Jackson had a grasshopper mind compared to Johnny Malone, and there was, he considered, more ways than one to kill a cat, even if it did appear to have nine lives...[from The Other Driver by Fanthorpe, Robert L(ionel) (1935-) writing as Pel Torro]

One hundred trout are needed to support one man for a year. The trout, in turn, must consume 90,000 frogs, that must consume 27 million grasshoppers that live off of 1,000 tons of grass. -G. Tyler Miller, Jr.

"Grasshopper always wrong in argument with chicken." -- Book of Chan

Why is it better to be a grasshopper than a cricket? Because grasshoppers can play cricket but crickets can't play grasshopper!

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To The Top

The locust, in the news and even in story books has been totally made the lazy, good-for-nothing villain. It is my hope that I have helped to bring to light some good that the grasshopper, another of God's creations, can and has done for mankind.

I hope that you have found this lens interesting. I would be pleased if you leave a comment and then scroll down for some locust humor.

Friend or Foe? - What do you think?

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    • AstroGremlin profile image

      AstroGremlin 5 years ago

      Epic locust lens. Have StumbleUpon liked.

    • Jo-Jackson profile image

      Jo-Jackson 5 years ago

      Very informative and enjoyable read.

    • veronicatarantino profile image

      veronicatarantino 5 years ago

      Wow.. i didn't know this could happen..

      I hope I'm never outside in one of these occasions.. i would die of shock

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 5 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your lens, very informative. Nicely done!

    • profile image

      Shadrosky 5 years ago

      Very unique lens! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      These are amazing creatures. I love the scene after the locust swarm in the movie "Hidalgo" where Frank Hopkins (played by Viggo Mortensen) has to eat one for the first time. After I saw that movie, I decided I wouldn't be afraid to eat locusts if I had to. John the Baptist did; why can't I?

    • profile image

      VatsalMakhija 5 years ago

      Absolutely incredible lens! It better than most magazine or newspaper feature articles I've read. I'm bookmarking this and will refer to it while preparing my next lens :)

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 5 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      I honestly don't know why we don't hear more about people having panic attacks during locusts storms. Is it because they grow up and are used to it? I would probably have a major anxiety attack if I ever saw such sights up close.

    • profile image

      SimSpeaks 5 years ago

      The only foe is mankind, to go about wantonly destroying the balance of nature. The locust is just our way of passing the blame.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @goo2eyes lm: Thank you, you are precious!

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      you have high-quality, purple-awarded lenses. just coming back to check if i blessed this already. indeed, it is.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you so much. I am happy that you appreciate my work. I am off to see your lenses now.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      You are very brave for eating these. They seem pretty creepy to me. Blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Brilliant body of work... No need to say more! :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @WriterJanis2: Thank you for stopping by, Janis.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @xriotdotbiz lm: Thank you for coming and learning about the locust.

    • xriotdotbiz lm profile image

      xriotdotbiz lm 5 years ago

      Funny, great lens but I feel a bit creepy thinking about swarms of locusts. Learned a lot though.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @aesta1: I have never experienced this but my parents did and they saw them coming like a black cloud. They ate everything in their path. Perhaps chemicals could have stopped them at the beginning of their cycle but certainly not when they became mature.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @SailingPassion LM: Thank you for visiting and your comment.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      When they come, they just cover the land. It is difficult not to use chemicals but this creates its own problem.

    • SailingPassion LM profile image

      SailingPassion LM 5 years ago

      Eeew - never seem them outside of a zoo thankfully! Good lens

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @maraga: Must have had those Egyptians really bothered! Thank you for your visit.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @JoshK47: Thank you for having a look at this lens, blessing and your kind comment.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Ajeet: Too industrious for most people. I hear that they are good to eat though so maybe more is better for those people.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      what a wonderful lens. pics, vids and details are really amazing. you have done a great job in this lens. ~blessed~

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      What a great, informative lens - thanks so much for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      maraga 5 years ago

      this is a wonderful lens. it reminds me to read the plagues in the bible. thank you so much. i love you

    • profile image

      Ajeet 5 years ago

      However much we might hate them, these tiny little pests are industrious creatures.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Scriber1 LM: Thank you so very much. I am happy that you enjoyed this lens.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Einar A: I'd have to be starving before I'd voluntarily eat them but they are a marvelous creation all the same!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @magictricksdotcom: I hope not, for your sake!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @ItayaLightbourne: My Mum and Dad experienced this too. The only thing that I can think of that may be worse is a flock of birds like in the movie "Birds."

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @sukkran trichy: Thank you for visiting, kind comment and the blessing. I'll be visiting your lenses soon.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I remember there being a swarm of locusts in the woods and trees surrounding my grandparent's farm when I was a kid. It would have been in the 60s in the NE corner of MS. I remember how haunting that sound was. Scared the dickens out of us! :)

    • magictricksdotcom profile image

      magictricksdotcom 5 years ago

      We had a cicada invasion here in Virginia in the late '90's. It was unreal. And I guess we're due for another one soon? Apparently every 13-17 years.

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 5 years ago

      What a fascinating and informative article on locusts! I have eaten them--crunchy and chewy, but not at all bad.

    • Scriber1 LM profile image

      Scriber1 LM 5 years ago

      I also grew up reading Bible stories about locusts. However, your amazingly informative lens gave me more information than I ever knew existed. I especially enjoyed reading about modern swarms and the culinary uses of these creatures. What a wonderfully well-researched and written lens!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @dahlia369: I agree. I've even been trying to get accustomed to the snakes we have here. I haven't seen a rattler in the 22 years we have lived here but we seem to have more garter snakes than ever recently. They are harmless but they startle me sometimes.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      I don't consider anything that resides on the same planet a foe. They have their space and role in this universe, like everything/everyone else.

      Wonderful, wonderful lens!! :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @cylomi: Thank you for the visit. I'm off to check our that lens you mentioned.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @miaponzo: You definitely would remember if you saw one. I wouldn't ever want to eat one. I'd have to be mighty hungry! Thank you for the blessing!

    • profile image

      cylomi 5 years ago

      Terribale,I don't like it. It's so throw up.By the way would please give some advise to my lens uefa store.Thanks a lot.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I don't know if I have ever seen a locust.. but some people do love to eat them... even in Kuwait.. Blessed!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Michelle1959: I'd be afraid if I saw a cloud of locusts heading toward me like was in that video. It's a good thing that they are good for something though.

      I'd love to visit S. Africa some day.

    • Michelle1959 profile image

      Michelle1959 5 years ago

      Originally from Zambia, Zimbabwe and now resident in South Africa I head the warnings and stories but your lens has superseded those with the detail and a lot of interesting information. The video was amazing although that guy didn't look too amused at the length of his experiment - a good and humerous one!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @rob-hemphill: My grandparents went through the same thing during the 1930s in Canada. They were prairie farmers and lost everything during that time.

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 5 years ago from Ireland

      I can remember locust attacks on my Dads farm in Kenya, and in no time at all there was complete devastation, a whole seasons work gone in a few hours!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @flicker lm: So true! I get ill thinking about it but I know that in some countries it is every day fare.

      Thank you for your comment. I am coming to visit you now.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 6 years ago

      Strange as it may seem, I *do* think "...insects could provide food security for the coming centuries?" It would certainly take a cultural adjustment in come countries, but hunger can certainly be a great motivator.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @mary lighthouse15: Thank you for stopping by for a visit. I'm happy that you found this lens interesting.

    • mary lighthouse15 profile image

      mary lighthouse15 6 years ago

      Very interesting lens. I enjoy reading your lense cause they are full of new information for me. Btw, thanks for stopping by and blessing my lens about bonsai.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @goo2eyes lm: Thank you dear lady angel.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      return of a squid angel bearing some *blessings*.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: I am glad that you found it interesting. I'll be by for a visit to your lenses soon.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very interesting lens, learned a lot about locusts

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @TolovajWordsmith: Thank you dear reader for visiting. I'd love to read your essay some day. If you use it on Squidoo I hope that you will link it to this lens.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      I wrote an essay about locusts years ago and know how much research you invested in this lens. You made GREAT job on presenting very fascinating creatures. Thumbs up!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @TheGourmetCoffe: Thank you, I hope you visit again!

    • TheGourmetCoffe profile image

      TheGourmetCoffe 6 years ago

      Very interesting lens, learned a lot about locusts. Thank you for sharing your insights!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @SayGuddaycom: I have never been in one but my parents were on the Canadian prairies. An awesome sight .. I am told.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Lady Lorelei: Thank you once again, Ladymermaid. I appreciate it.

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 6 years ago

      Always been fascinated with the imagery of a locust swarm

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      My first sprinkling of angel dust on this lens has long worn off so I am back once again to scatter a little more. It is my quest today to bless all the lenses which I blessed in October of 2010. You are on this list.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @blessedmomto7: Thank you for your visit, I appreciate it and the blessing. Coming to visit your lenses now.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @domain19: Thank you for stopping by .. I'll be visiting your lenses soon.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @kathysart: Thank you, Kathy.I appreciate your taking the time to have a look and also for giving this lens a blessing.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 6 years ago

      Amazing lens. Great job. Blessed.

    • domain19 profile image

      domain19 6 years ago

      very interesting and informative lens... telling from both side.. the destructive and the helpful... thanks for share...

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      What an amazing lens you made here.. so much great information.. hats off! Thumbs up and blessed too.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Close2Art LM: Thank you. That was my goal when I started this lens. I'll be to visit you soon.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @theSEOmama: The locusts have not been at all bad in our area but there are other bugs which are as you say such as June bugs. They all seem to have a purpose though, even if it is just to provide food for the birds. Thank you for your visit and amusing comment.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 6 years ago

      very interesting page, shows both sides of how destructive and also helpful in ways, very neat.

    • theSEOmama profile image

      theSEOmama 6 years ago

      Wow, a very informative lens. We have cicada years from time to time where large broods of cicadas emerge and take over for a few weeks, and just had one in my area last summer. It's horrible (I'm not too fond of june bugs or cicadas, or any bug large enough to "thump" into your head and stupid enough to get stuck there). They take over for a few weeks and are EVERYWHERE. They are interesting looking little creatures though!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Andy-Po: Thank you for your visit, Andy and leaving your GiantSquid thumbs up.

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Nobody 6 years ago from UK

      Very interesting lens.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @DanCooper: Thank you for visiting and dropping off a 'like.' I'll be by to read some of your lenses soon.

    • profile image

      DanCooper 6 years ago

      very interesting lens. thanks

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @goo2eyes lm: Yum! To each his own, I always say. I guess it all depends on where and what you have been raised up to accept. Thanks for your comment, goo2eyes.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      in thailand, locusts are delicacies. fried with hot chili.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @tvyps: Thank you for visiting and also your blessing. I have never eaten a bug in my life, that I am aware of. :) I saw a program not too long ago on the TV and it showed people eating bugs. They seemed to enjoy them.

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      A lot of info for a bug! I hear they are quite tasty, that is what my cat tells me anyway...I don't think I would eat one even if roasted, not even with a pickle on the side.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Diana Wenzel: I'm not sure why, but i find research on insects very interesting. I suppose it is because so many people kill everything that they don't understand. I formerly did this myself but am finding through study that many things that look very unattractive really are beneficial and should not be killed.

      Thank you for your comments and blessing.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Quite fascinating. I especially found the research applications of locust systems to be very interesting. Excellent article very professionally presented. *Blessed*

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @MargoPArrowsmith: So true! Thank you for visiting, Margo.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Harshitha LM: Thank you for your support and the visit. I'll be there to see you soon.

    • Harshitha LM profile image

      Harshitha LM 6 years ago

      Very interesting and informative.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 6 years ago

      Interesting reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this lens!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thank you, visitors. I've been studying insects lately. Not so much about the locust but about insects that I find while gardening. Many, I'm finding, are beneficial not unlike the locust. These I am learning to leave alone.

      Thank you for your comments everyone and, "angels," thank you for your blessings.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Very informative. blessed

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 6 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      Force of nature is a cliché, but cliches have truth in them.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      My family has passed down stories of locusts eating the crops and swarming in pioneer Kansas.

      The variety of information you've gathered here is remarkable and well-presented.

      Blessed by Squidoo's Insect Angel and featured on The Best Insect Webpages on Squidoo.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thank you, friends, I'm still tied up looking after ill family so I haven't been visiting my Squidoo friends lenses as I usually do. I appreciate your friendly comments, best wishes and blessings also, of course.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Oh my! Another well written and beautifully done creation by you, excellent!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Gosh, I don't remember the exact year, but we were living in Ohio and these were seriously coming out of the ground -- thousands of them! Yikes! Locusts.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      A warm thank you to all who have recently blessed and/or made comments on this lens. I have been neglecting Squidoo and my friends here to look after an ill relative. I appreciate the support you have all given to me and will return asap.

    • hotbrain profile image

      hotbrain 7 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      This is an outstanding lens! I've blessed it and recommended it for Lens of the Day!

    • Jack2205 profile image

      Jack 7 years ago

      This is an excellent source of information about locusts. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • rachsue lm profile image

      rachsue lm 7 years ago

      When it comes to locusts, you know your stuff. They just kinda freak me out. Great Lens

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 7 years ago from Canada

      Wow this article really has everything covered. It is now blessed by a squid angel. Have a great day :)