Identifying male and female locusts

Adult male and female locusts are readily distinguished by the shape of the tip of the abdomen:

Male - tip of abdomen smooth and rounded

Male locustTip of male abdomen

Female - tip of abdomen jagged

Female locustTip of female abdomen

The end of the abdomen of the male locust is rounded due to the sub-genital plate which conceals the reproductive organs.

The end of the abdomen of the female locust appears pointed due to the upper and lower jaws of the ovipositor.

On average, adult male locusts are smaller and more slender than adult females of the same species. However, size is not a reliable character to determine the sex of a locust as it varies according to the quality and abundance of food received during the nymphal stage. Males and females are very similar in markings and colouration.

See also: General Anatomy of a Locust and Grasshopper