Swarm of grasshoppers leads to locust scare in A.P. district

Common Calotropis grasshoppers (Poekilocerus pictus) seen in large numbers in Rayadurg in Anantapur district on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: R_V_S_PRASAD

The sight of a large number of common Calotropis grasshoppers (Poekilocerus pictus) perched on all kinds of vegetation in Rayadurg town and surrounding areas in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday created panic among people.

With speculations about desert locusts moving towards central coastal Andhra Pradesh encompassing Krishna and West Godavari districts aided by wind making the rounds, social media and electronic channels were abuzz with pictures of the swarms.

Desert locusts will move towards the two Andhra Pradesh districts after touching the Karimnagar, Jagityal and Nalgonda areas in Telangana going by present indications such as wind direction, said agrometeorologist S. Malleswari Sadhineni at the Agriculture Research Station at Rekulakunta in Anantapur.

There was no chance of locusts entering the districts of Anantapur, Kadapa or Chittoor. Some places in Kurnool might be affected if at all the length and breadth of the swarm was large, she added.

About the invasion of grasshoppers in the Rayadurg area, Ms. Malleswari said due to extreme heat followed by a spell of rain in that area this week, these insects had come out of their habitat and were devouring vegetation.

There was no danger to crops from grasshoppers unlike desert locusts as they are relatively very mild.

Principal scientist Manda Johnson said it is easy to differentiate between grasshoppers and desert locusts as they are different in colour.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 3:10:52 PM |

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