On the lookout for swarms

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Most people check the outlook for storms, but have you checked the outlook for swarms recently?

After the widespread plague locust activity in southern Queensland and northern NSW in late spring to early summer in 2020, and given the recent rain in some districts, you might be interested to know what the outlook is for locusts and grasshoppers in your region.

The Australian Plague Locust Commission (APLC), a joint venture of the Australian Government and the states of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland, produces a monthly Locust Bulletin which describes recent activity and regional risks of the main locust species.

The latest Bulletin (January 2021) includes a prediction of increasing locust activity of the Australian plague locust (Chortoicetes terminifera) during January, particularly in Queensland and New South Wales, and a moderate likelihood of more widespread high-density populations and region-wide infestations developing during summer and early autumn. There is also the possibility of an infestation of spur-throated locust (Austracris guttulosa) in subtropical Queensland developing during the same period, but a very low risk of migratory locust (Locusta migratoria) infestations.

Spur-throated locust.

The full version of the January newsletter is available from the APLC.

For more information about locusts and grasshoppers, including an identification guide, hop to report locusts, and details about the APLC’s monitoring and research activities, visit their website.

Subscribe to the Locust Bulletin (under ‘Biosecurity News’) at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.