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The Jekyll and Hyde of the insect world

The desert locust can undergo a special type of transformation that changes it from a green-coloured solitary locust into a gregarious locust.

The main difference between the two creatures is not in how they look but in how they behave. The green locust lives a solitary and inconspicuous existence. But transformed into the other locust, it becomes a destructive pest, flying in vast swarms that wreak devastation on crops.

The research featured in the programme was carried out by Professor Malcolm Burrows, Dr Steve Rogers and Swidbert Ott (Cambridge University) and Professor Steve Simpson. (University of Sydney)

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3 minutes

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