A subadult desert locust perched on a plant spine

Desert locust

The desert locust is one of about a dozen species of grasshoppers known as locusts which - unlike other grasshoppers - are able to change their behaviour in response to population density. This enables them to form swarms that can migrate over large distances. Locust swarms vary from less than one square kilometre to several hundred square kilometres. There can be from 40 million to as many as 80 million locust adults in each square kilometre of a swarm.

Scientific name: Schistocerca gregaria

Rank: Species

Watch video clips from past programmes (1 clip)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


Map showing the distribution of the Desert locust taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Desert locust can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Indian subcontinent. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Desert locust distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Arthropods
  4. Insects
  5. Grasshoppers and crickets
  6. Acrididae
  7. Schistocerca
  8. Desert locust

BBC News about Desert locust

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.