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Volume 2011, Article ID 459315, 9 pages
Research Article

Diel Behavioral Activity Patterns in Adult Solitarious Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål)

1International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), P.O. Box 30772-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
2Centre National de Lutte Antiacridienne, BP 665 Nouakchott, Mauritania
3ICIPE Field Station, P.O. Box 1213, Port Sudan, Sudan
4Crop Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Crop Protection, University of Khartoum, P.O. Box 32, Khartoum North, Shambat, Sudan
5Chemistry Department, Kenyatta University, P.O. Box 43844-00100, Nairobi, Kenya

Received 20 March 2010; Revised 5 June 2010; Accepted 19 August 2010

Academic Editor: Gregory A. Sword

Copyright © 2011 Sidi Ould Ely et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The responses of adult solitarious desert locust to odors from a host plant were evaluated in a two-choice wind tunnel. Solitarious desert locusts collected from the field (Red Sea Coast) were more attracted to volatiles from potted Heliotropium ovalifolium in scotophase than in photophase. The attraction towards the host plant odors rather than to clean air, in both photophase and scotophase, concurs with previous observations on oviposition preferences near these plants. Diel behavioral activity patterns of adult solitarious desert locusts Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål) that were collected from the field in Port Sudan were investigated by monitoring, scanning, resting, taking off, and walking/running in a wind tunnel. Solitarious locusts that had been propagated in the laboratory for 20 generations were also observed for comparison. In both groups of locusts, insects were significantly more active after sunset and this activity attained peak level at 1-2 hours after dusk. Of the two groups, solitarious locusts collected from the field were significantly more active. In the scotophase, the former traversed distances that were about seven times those covered by laboratory-reared locusts. Overall, the results show that the repertoire of behavioral activities of solitarious locusts is maintained in laboratory-reared insects, albeit at a lower level. The implications of these observations in the behavioral ecology of the desert locust are discussed.