| Locust handbook |
|3. Other African locusts|
Figure 108 shows the widespread distribution of this species. Nine subspecies have so far been distinguished. The Locusta found in Arabia and India is very similar to the African subspecies but forms swarms much less frequently and except for India is a relatively minor pest. In Madagascar Locusta is regarded as the most important agricultural pest, especially of rice and sugarcane. There can be four generations in a year: one in the dry season and three in the rainy season. Development is continuous so that all stages can be found at the same time. Plagues last 1-3 years (last plague was 1960-1961) and follow periods of above average rainfall. Recession periods are much longer. The main outbreak area is in the southwest corner of the island where Locusta is concentrated by the North East Trade Winds into marshy areas suitable for breeding.
Locusta m. manilensis is described in Chapter 5 and the other subspecies are outside the area covered by the handbook.