As a follow-up on the Bees on Cocaine post, I give you: Hoppers on Prozac.gregarious locust

Serotonin Mediates Behavioral Gregarization Underlying Swarm Formation in Desert Locusts. Michael L. Anstey, Stephen M. Rogers, Swidbert R. Ott, Malcolm Burrows, and Stephen J. Simpson (30 January 2009) Science 323 (5914), 627. [DOI: 10.1126/science.1165939]

The desert locust is a mid-mannered grasshopper that will suddenly undergo a Jeckyl and Hyde transformation into a (literally) biblical plague of locusts.  This new paper has teased out just how that happens!

I was going to write an explanation of the scientific version, but the WhyFiles has already done an excellent job of breaking it down (with photos.)  Why not go visit the WhyFiles?

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. So, locusts just need to chill out?

  2. The one blurb I read mentioned something about locusts “joining a gang” and it made me picture them in very tiny leather jackets.

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