CONFERENCE 3

Challenges associated with climate and environmental change in African locusts and grasshoppers.

Ahmed Hassanali, University of Nairobi, Kenya, and Magzoub Bashir, University of Khartoum, Sudan

Challenges associated with climate and environmental change in African locusts and grasshoppers.
Magzoub Bashir, University of Khartoum, Sudan


Recent years have witnessed some discernable changes in the daily temperature and rainfall in the Sudan. This was evident in the main western and eastern breeding sites of the desert locust. A noticeable shift in the distribution and outbreaks of the species and other pestiferous species was evident. Compared to the 1988 major invasion of the desert locust there appears to be little evidence of invasions of gregarious populations hardly evident in the main breeding areas. This may be due to the low frequency of preferred desert plants particularly Heliotropiumspp, Crotalaria microphylla, and Zygophyllum simples in the east and Schouwia and cultivated millet in the west, which were previously shown to play an important role in the phase shift of solitarious nymphs.
Other locust species density and distribution also appear to be changing. The migratory locust Locusta migratoria nymphs were seen marching with the desert locust nymphs in the eastern breeding areas. Its infestation extended to the main cultivated areas in the north and in the rain-fed schemes in central Sudan. Also, the tree locust Anacridium melanorhodon became prevalent in areas outside the acacia belt. The variegated locust Zonocerus variegatus also became a serious pest in the western regions of the country with denser populations and frequent outbreaks.