The migratory locusts include various types of field locusts that live both individually and in larger swarms and leave their previous habitat together. The massive swarms can even devastate entire landscapes. Many African countries are repeatedly exposed to locust plagues.
A single swarm of migratory locusts can hold over 1 billion insects, which is about 1,500 tons in weight.
The locusts eat vegetable food according to their body weight every day and hence such locust plagues are an economic fiasco for the countries.
Migratory locusts are distributed worldwide except in Antarctica. Plagues of locusts have plagued Central Europe for many centuries. They are now rather rare on the European continent. Migratory locusts, including desert locusts, also live in Africa, southern Europe, India, Central Asia, and Kazakhstan.
The migratory locusts also live in eastern Australia and cause great economic damage there.
The animals are about 6 centimeters long and weigh around 2 grams. Their wings protrude beyond the abdomen and they are beige with dark brown patterns. Their strong, long hind legs are characteristic.
When keeping migratory locusts, choose a container that is taller than it is wider. A glass terrarium works well because they are easier to clean. The minimum size should start from 40 × 40 × 60 centimeters.
First, an easily removable plywood insert is placed inside. There should be no cracks on their sides where crumbs or droppings can fall.
Locusts eat a lot and defecate accordingly, so their container should be easy to clean. Dry droppings are difficult to remove, so it’s worth building or buying a terrarium with a bottom drawer and a grate for droppings to fall through.
The locusts need branches to climb up and as an alternative food to wet food.
Some experience is required as they can also nibble at their container. Power cables from heating mats and lights should be installed securely, otherwise, they will also nibble on them. The cables are well stored on the rear wall and on the bottom drawer. Wire gauze secures the cords of lamps.
Locusts like warmth and light, so the temperature should be at least 30°C during the day and 20°C or higher at night.
They also need a bit of moisture. This can be ensured with a water spray every few days.
Breeding migratory locusts are not that easy. A certain amount of effort is required here in terms of technology, logistics, hygiene, and feeding.
Locusts are sensitive insects. Breeding is not always successful and they react extremely sensitively to unsuitable nutrition.
If you want to breed migratory locusts, put around 20 adult specimens in your terrarium, in which a container with a mixture of earth and sand is placed. This mixture is always kept slightly moist.
The female locusts burrow their abdomens into the sand-soil mixture to lay their eggs. The container can remain in the terrarium for 1 week and should then be renewed.
The egg-laying container is now covered with gauze and placed in a warm spot in the tank. Light is not necessary, so it can also be a less lit spot. Rewetting is usually not necessary either, because the locust eggs are deeply buried and therefore remain moist enough even when the surface has dried out.
After 2 weeks, the container moves to a secure hatchery terrarium, where the young migratory locusts hatch after 3 weeks.
The gauze is removed in advance and food is not immediately necessary. The young locusts are kept in the same way as the adult animals and are given the same feed.
After about 5 weeks they are fully grown and after another week they are sexually mature. These animals can be used for offspring or you can always buy new ones in pet shops.