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#67152 - 04/23/02 09:21 PM locusts
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
An interesting article on the possibly extinct locust of the American west.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/23/science/23LOCU.html?ex=1020620080&ei=1&en=5b3cbd0dcb3f5662

Among other interesting facts there, this:

"In 1875 the species formed the largest recorded locust swarm in the history of humankind, 1,800 miles long and 110 miles wide, equaling the combined area of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont."

That is, I believe, the entire Northeastern United States. And then some.


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#67153 - 04/24/02 08:05 AM Re: locusts
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Locusts? This is a picture of what I've always heard called a grasshopper. Locusts are those big, fat bugs that buzz in the trees all summer, and leave behind their empty, light-brown shell. Terror.

Going off on a tangent--we are looking for a car for our daughter, and she knows that one of our primary concerns is safety. We saw a VW beetle, or "bug", the other day, and she said she wouldn't mind having one, as it would give her a protective shell. I said, "Your carapace?" Ah well--guess you had to be there...


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#67154 - 04/24/02 08:41 AM Re: locusts
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Jackie, i think what you're call locust is a cicada (sp?)-- and they make clicking noises, and the faster they click, the hotter it is --(and they are commonly called locust here, too)

the times article pointed out that when grasshoppers swarm, they become locust.. (as in a plague of locust)

there was a NOVA (PBS science show) about them one year.

in times of drought or famine, grasshoppers, (usually pretty solitary insects) keep meeting each other.. this interaction actualy causes hormomal changes, and the insect that is in normal times a loner, now begins to swarm.. and as it begins to swarm, each insect gives of a pheramone (a scent hormone) that increases the chances of other grasshoppers joining the swarm. at the same time, the hormone actually changes the the insect.. (How?--i dunno. i remember seeing side by side ilustrations.. but i don't remember the details... but they did look different.)

one change was, digestive.. instead of just eating their normal food, a swarm will eat anything.. the times article said that house wife's would put heavy woolen blankets on there vegetable gardens to protect them.. and the swarm would first eat the blanket, and then, finish off the garden for dessert! not normal eating habits for grasshoppers.

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#67155 - 04/24/02 09:19 AM Re: locusts
stales Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 866
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Spot on Helen - on both counts - grasshoppers/locusts and cicadas.

I've gotta stop these me too posts - I'm boring myself.

stales


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#67156 - 04/24/02 09:24 AM Re: Cicadas
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Do you say sih-CAY-dah or sih-CAH-dah?


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#67157 - 04/24/02 09:24 AM Re: locusts
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Jackie and of troy: I am deeply disturbed that neither of you have recognized an environmental tragedy that demands correction. It is abundantly clear to me that the locust is an endangered species, and immediate steps must be taken to provide about two billion dollars to take at least ten thousand acres of low lying farm land in every state by eminent domain, to re-establish breeding grounds for locusts, and laboratories to rear them and re-establish them in the wild, so that our great-grandchildren may know the wonder of seeing the sun blotted out by huge locust flights.


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#67158 - 04/24/02 09:57 AM Re: Cicadas
stales Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 866
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Good q wordwind. When very young (in Seeedkneee) I pronounced the middle syllable -cay-. This changed a few years later to -cah- (coz that's what everybody else said). My Mum's from Melbourne and I think the initial "-cay-" pronunciation may have come from her.

Wadjoo say?

stales


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#67159 - 04/24/02 10:42 AM Re: Cicadas
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Do you say sih-CAY-dah or sih-CAH-dah?

when i am not saying Yuck! i guess i say sih-CAY-dah.

but Gypsy moth catapillars are yuckier.. in fact, any catapiller is yuckier.

Lady bugs are ok, and fire flys.. (oh caradea, you must come east, late spring/early summer, and bring your kids.. fire flys are wonderful!-- i still have spare peanut butter jars down in the basement, for you kiddies to collect them in!) my yards is usually home to some praying mantisis too.

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#67160 - 04/25/02 06:04 AM Re: Cicadas
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
Once upon a time, while living in Mexico, I thought it would be neat for my kids to watch a butterfly emerge from it's cocoon. I found one in the peach tree in the back yard and brought it in. A couple of weeks later, my kitchen was overrun with teeny tiny praying mantis! They are so cute!


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#67161 - 04/25/02 11:07 AM Re: Cicadas
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
A couple of weeks later, my kitchen was overrun with teeny tiny praying mantis! They are so cute!

OH1 Consuelo, I hope you put them in your garden ... they are very beneficial, keeping plants and flowers bug free!


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