Evidence from traditional and new technologies for northward migrations of Australian plague locusts (Chortoicetes terminifera) (Walker) (Orthoptera: Acrididae) to western Queensland
Deveson, ED and Drake, VA and Hunter, DM and Walker, PW and Wang, HK, Evidence from traditional and new technologies for northward migrations of Australian plague locusts (Chortoicetes terminifera) (Walker) (Orthoptera: Acrididae) to western Queensland, Austral Ecology, 30, (8) pp. 928-943. ISSN 1442-9985 (2005) [Refereed Article]
The development of recent infestations of the Australian plague locust (Chortoicetes terminifera) (Walker) (Orthoptera: Acrididae) has been traced using traditional survey data combined with information from several modern technologies including simulation of windborne transport trajectories, direct observation with entomological radar and satellite imagery. The results indicate that migration from spring generations in the southern and eastern parts of the species range, including agricultural areas, to the summer rainfall areas in arid western Queensland (Qld) has contributed to the development of infestations on several occasions. Migration from swarm populations in New South Wales to western Qld in November and December 1999 contributed to a rapid population increase that, over a sequence of generations, led to the major infestation of agricultural areas in March and April 2000. There is evidence that northward migrations also occurred in 1995, 1997 and 2000. These contributed to the early summer populations in Qld, but did not result in large migrations to the south in autumn. These observations suggest that a pattern of exchange migration across much of the geographical range of the species between regions of winter and summer rainfall characterizes the spatial dynamics of this species. This pattern appears to be adaptive and suggests migration in C. terminifera is sustained by contemporary natural selection.