Thursday, 13 January 2022

Locust!

A huge thank you to my neighbour John who, very kindly, let me photograph this magnificent Locust that he discovered in the grill of his campervan, parked just a few doors up the road. John hasn't recently returned from a trip abroad so the origins of this insect can only be speculated upon. It's possibly an escape from the pet trade, or just possibly a migrant. Either way it's an interesting record and not one I was expecting when I woke up this morning! Kev and I have done a little preliminary research and think it could possibly be an Egyptian Locust, but we'll await confirmation or otherwise from the Orthoptera experts. Egyptian Locust is a common eastern European species. Great to see Kev, as always, and thank you again to John!

Possible identification pointers to this being an Egyptian Locust include a vertically-striped eye, a peg between the front legs and a protonum, which has three furrows. The protonum on Egyptian should be keeled, which I think this one is. Any comments on the identification would be hugely welcomed. That's a medium-sized Banana behind it. It's a whopping great insect.


7 comments:

  1. Vertical dark lines on eyes and 'wrinkled' pronotum = Egyptian Grasshopper I think. I recall seeing an Exmouth specimen of this species years ago - likely to flow, blow or drift north in the same conditions that bring Vagrant Emperors here.

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    1. Thanks Dave - would be fascinating to know for sure how it got here. All the best. Matt

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  2. Lovely thing to see, Matt. Your ID looks spot on but sure experts will know if any possible confusion spp. Many years ago I found one at B&Q in Exeter, hiding among the terracotta plant pots - presumably imported from somewhere warmer.

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    1. Thanks Tim - that's interesting. Guess there must be a number of ways a locust can hitch a ride! It was very docile and inactive, so definitely missing the warmer weather. All the best. Matt

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  3. What a beast! I wonder if it came with that recent warm air-flow which the lepidopterists were hoping might bring some rare moths? Whatever, a fabulous creature.

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  4. Hi Gav - it was a beast! I guess anything is possible but they're clearly pretty good at hiding amongst imported goods. Would love to know its route here. All the best. Matt

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  5. Excellent find. I've seen a few of these on my travels but not in the UK.

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