Plant size-dependent escaping behavior of gregarious nymphs of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria

Ould Maeno Koutaro, Piou Cyril, Ould Ely Sidi, Ould Babah Mohamed A., Pélissié Benjamin, Ould Mohamed Sid' Ahmed, El Hacen Jaavar Mohamed, Etheimine Mohamed, Nakamura Satoshi. 2013. Plant size-dependent escaping behavior of gregarious nymphs of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Journal of Insect Behavior, 26 (5) : pp. 623-633.

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Quartile : Q2, Sujet : ENTOMOLOGY

Liste HCERES des revues (en SHS) : oui

Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Psychologie-éthologie-ergonomie

Abstract : The present study involves the tracking of marching bands of more than 300,000 gregarious nymphs of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, to examine shelter plant preference and how species and size of shelter plants and nymphal group sizes jointly influence the escaping behavior of 4th- and 5th-instar gregarious nymphs. Field observations are conducted during daytime and night-time in the Sahara Desert in Mauritania. Three dominant plant species have been identified at the survey site: Hyoscyamus muticus, Panicum turgidum, and Nucularia perrini. The smallest mean plant size among the three plant species is H. muticus. Gregarious nymphs perch on all the three plant species irrespective of time, and form various sizes of groups ranging from <10 to >10,000 nymphs. Groups of gregarious locusts perching on the plants show either escaping or sheltering behavior in response to an approaching observer. Percentages of nymphal groups showing escaping behavior for H. muticus, P. turgidum and N. perrini are 96.4, 47.6 and 19.5%, respectively. Defensive behavior is not affected by nymphal group size but by species and size of shelter plants. Nymphal groups tend to show escaping behavior when their perching plants are relatively small. No groups escape from their perching plants during night. These results might indicate that gregarious nymphs do not have a strong shelter plant preference and change their defensive behavior depending on species and size of sheltering plants and light conditions. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Schistocerca gregaria, Écologie animale, Dimension, Plante hôte, Comportement, Panicum, Hyoscyamus

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Mauritanie

Mots-clés complémentaires : Panicum turgidum, Nucularia perrini

Classification Agris : H10 - Pests of plants

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 1 (2005-2013) - Intensification écologique

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Ould Maeno Koutaro, CNLA (MRT)
  • Piou Cyril, CIRAD-BIOS-UPR Bioagresseurs (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0002-9378-9404
  • Ould Ely Sidi, CNLA (MRT)
  • Ould Babah Mohamed A., CNLA (MRT)
  • Pélissié Benjamin
  • Ould Mohamed Sid' Ahmed, CNLA (MRT)
  • El Hacen Jaavar Mohamed, CNLA (MRT)
  • Etheimine Mohamed, CNLA (MRT)
  • Nakamura Satoshi, JIRCAS (JPN)

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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