Description of an Australian plague locust

Adults

Adults of the Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera, may be readily distinguished from other species by the large dark spot on the tip of the hindwings and distinctive scarlet hindleg shanks.

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Above: Adult Australian plague locust

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Above: Dark spot on hindwing

Adult body colour is variable and can be grey, brown or green. Adult males measure 25-30 mm long while females are 30-42 mm long. See also: How to tell the difference between a male and female locust.

Nymphs

The nymphs have five growth stages or instars.

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Above: Fifth instar Australian plague locust nymph

At each stage the developing wings become more noticable and can be used to determine which instar a locust nymph is in.

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1st instar

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2nd instar

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3rd instar

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First instar nymphs are about 3mm long, pale brown to dark brown or black, and sometimes have a white stripe along the back of its first body segment just behind the head.

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4th instar

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5th instar

Later instars are grey or brown and sometimes have a white stripe along the back. Further details about this species: Distribution, Biology, Locust and grasshopper identification guide