Effect of Density on the Rate of Moulting of Two Locust Species: Schistocerca gregaria and Dociostaurus maroccanus (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

M. Rochdi, I. Ismail, D. Ousaaid, D. Essakhi, S. Haloti, El Ghadraoui


In this present work, we studied the influence of individual density on the larval moulting rate of three larval stages (third, fourth, fifth instar) in two locust species Schistocerca gregaria and Dociostaurus maroccanus. The moulting position, their duration and the mortality during the moult were also noted.  The results show that regrouping individuals accelerates their moult rate. Thus the individuals prefer to realise their moults in vertical position considering the short duration and the survival of larvae during moulting is higher. In contrast the moults performed in horizontal position took a longer duration and increased the mortality rate in all instars examined.


Moult ; Gregarization; Locusts ; Desert Locust ; Moroccan Locust


Abbassi, K.; Ataykadiri, Z. and Ghaout, S. 2004. Biological activity of Calotropis procera (Ait. R. Br) leaves on the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria, Forsk. 1775). Zoologica Baetica 15: 153-166.

Albrecht, F.O. 1955. La densité des populations et la croissance chez Schistocerca gregaria (Forsk.) et Nomadacrisseptem fasciata (Serv.) ; La mue d'ajustement. Journal d'agriculture tropicale et de botanique appliquée 2 (2-4): 109-192.

Ben Halima, T.; Gillon, Y.; and Louveaux, A. 1984. Utilisation des ressources trophiques par Dociostaurus maroccanus (Thunberg, 1815) (Orthoptera, Acrididae). Choix des espèces consommées en fonction de leur valeur nutritive. Acta Oecologica-Oecologia Generalis 54: 385-406.

Bouzeraa, H. 2014. Evaluation de l’impact de deux mimétiques de l’hormone de mue (rh-2485 et rh-5992) sur les gonades males d’Ephestia kuehniella, un lépidoptère ravageur des denrées stockées : Aspect structural, biochimique et hormonal. Thèse Docteur en Biologie Animale, Universite Badji-Mokhtar Annaba, Algeria. 102 pages.

Cassier, P. and Delorme-Joulie, C. 1976. La différenciation imaginale du tégument chez le Criquet pélerin, Schistocerca gregaria (Forsk). Les différences phasaires et leur déterminisme. Insectes Sociaux 23(2): 179-198.

Dhadialla, T.S.; Retnakaran, A. and Smagghe, G. 2005. Insect growth- and development disturbing insecticides. Pages 55-116, In: Gilbert, L.I.; Kostas,I. and Gill, S. (Editors) Comprehensive Insect Molecular Science. Pergamon Press, New York.

Douro Kpindoua1, O.K.; Lomera1, C.J.; Langewalda1, J. and Boccoa1, Y. 2000. Cycle biologique et Durée des Stades Larvaires du Criquet Puant, Zonocerus variegatus (Linne,1758) (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae) au Sud du Bénin. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science 20: 109-116.

Ellis, P. E. 1951. The marching behaviour of hoppers of the African migratory locust (Locusta migratoria migratorioides R. and F.) in the laboratory. Anti-Locust Bulletin 7: 1-46.

Ernst, U.R.; Van Hiel, M. B.; Depuydt, G.; Boerjan, B.; De Loof, A. and Schoofs, L. 2015. Epigenetics and locust life phase transitions. Journal of Experimental Biology 218(1): 88-99.

Gäde, G. and Hoffman, K.H. 2005. Neuropeptides regulating development and reproduction in insects. Physiological Entomology 30: 103-121.

Ghaout, S.; Louveaux, A.;Mainguet, A.M.; Deschamps, M. and Rahal, Y. 1991. What defense does Schouwia purpurea (Cruciferae) have against the desert locust? Secondary compounds and nutritive value. Journal of Chemical Ecology 17: 1499-1516.

Ghoneim, K.S.; Al-Dali, A.G. and Abdel-Ghaffar, A.A. 2003. Effectiveness of lufenuron (CGA-184699) and diofenolan (CGA-59205) on the general body metabolism of the red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Curculionidae: Coleo-ptera). Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 6(13): 1125-1129.

Kaufman, M.G.; Klug, M.J. and Merritt, R.W. 1989. Growth and food utilization parameters of germ-free house crickets, Acheta domesticus. Journal of Insect Physiology 35: 957-967.

Kemassi, A. 2008. Toxicité comparée des extraits de quelques plantes acridifuges du Sahara septentrional Est algérien sur les larves du cinquième stade et les adultes de Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål, 1775). Mémoire de Diplôme de Magister en Sciences Agronomiques. Universite Badji-Mokhtar, Annaba. Algérie. 165 pages.

Mcfarlane, J.E.; Amit, I. and Sixeves, E. 1984. Studies on the group effect in Acheta domesticus (L.) using artificial diets. Journal of Insect Physiology 30(2): 103-107.

Mondal, K.A.M.S.H. and Parween, S. 2000. Insect growth regulators and their potential in the management of stored product insect pests. Integrated Pest Management Review 5: 255-295.

Nijhout, H.F. 1994. Insect Hormones. Princeton University Press, New Jersey, U.S.A. 267 pages.

Ould El Hadj, M.D.; Tankari Dan-badjo, A. and Halouane, F.2004. Etude du cycle biologique de Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål, 1775) sur chou (Brassica oleracea) en laboratoire. Université Mohamed Khider-Biskra, Algérie, Courrier du Savoir N°05: 17-21.

Otte, D. and Joern, A. 1977. On feeding pattern in desert grass-hoppers and the evolution of specialized diets. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 128(6): 89-126.

Pener, M.P. 1991. Locust phase polymorphism and its endocrine relations. Advances in Insect Physiology 23: 1-79.

Pener, M.P. and Yerushalmi, Y. 1998. The physiology of locust phase polymorphism: an update. Journal of Insect Physiology 44: 365-377.

Rackauskas, C.; Koranda, J.; Allen, S.; Burries, R.; Demski, K.; Gore, L.; Jung, T.; Kane, K.; Subaitis, C.; Urban, B. and Whitman, D.W. 2006. Moulting inhibits feeding in a grasshopper. Journal of Orthoptera Research 15(2): 187-190.

Riddiford, L.M. 1996. Molecular aspects of juvenile hormone action in insect metamorphosis. Pages 223-243, In: Gilbert L.I., Tata J.R. and Atkinson, B.G. (Editors) Metamorphosis: Post-embryonic Reprogramming of Gene Expression in Amphibian and Insect Cells. Academic Press, San Diego, CA.

Roffey, J. and Popov G. 1968. Environmental and behavioral processes in a desert locust outbreak. Nature 219: 446-450.

Rogers, S.M.; Riley, J.; Brighton, C.; Sutton, G.P.; Cullen, D.A. and Burrows, M. 2016. Increased muscular volume and cuticular specialisations enhance jump velocity in solitarious compared with gregarious desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria. Journal of Experimental Biology 219(5): 635-648.

Simpson, S.J. and Sword, G.A. 2008. Locusts. Current Biology 18(9): 364-366.

Simpson, S.J.; McCaffery, A.R. and Hägele, B.F. 1999. A behavioural analysis of phase change in the desert locust. Biological Revews 74: 461-480.

Tanani, M.A.; Ghoneim, K.S. and Hamadah, K.H.S.H. 2012. Comparative effects of certain IGRS on the Carbohydrates of hemolymph and fat body of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Orthoptera: Acrididae). Florida Entomologist 95(4): 928-935.

Uvarov, B.1977. Grasshoppers and Locusts. Volume II. Centre for Overseas Pest Research, London. 622 pages.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

COPYRIGHT of this Journal vests fully with the National Instional Institute of Ecology. Any commercial use of the content on this site in any form is legally prohibited.