Current locust situation

​​​​​Locust situation 3 October 2018

This page summarises the known distribution of locusts during August-September and provides a brief outlook to December 2018. Regional information and forecasts are given in the latest locust bulletin.

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Australian Plague Locust (Chortoicetes terminifera)

The locust population level remained low over most of its range throughout the 2017-18 season. Sporadic low density breeding maintained overall low population densities.

The very low autumn locust population levels and ongoing dry conditions in most inland regions during winter and September make any high density spring population unlikely.

There are no known regions in eastern Australia where autumn populations are likely to have laid significant numbers of eggs. The only areas to have recorded up to medium density adults in autumn were restricted parts of the Queensland Central Highlands and the NSW Central West. Habitat conditions in these regions are unsuitable for locust breeding.

Residual green vegetation remains in the Goyder Lagoon area of Far North South Australia, following flooding in April. This could provide some favourable habitat for locusts, but the population level is likely to remain generally low throughout the region.

Limited initial surveys in Far West NSW and the Queensland Central Highlands indicate a very low population level. Light traps recorded no locusts during August-September.

The outlook for the remainder of spring is for population densities to remain low in most regions of inland eastern Australia. The BoM seasonal rainfall outlook for October-November indicates below average rainfall and dry conditions are likely to persist in most areas of the species range. However, localised heavy rainfall events can provide breeding opportunities and subsequent nymph populations . Given the very low current population numbers, several generations would be necessary to produce high density populations.

There is a low risk of a widespread regional infestation developing in any region during spring.

Spur–throated Locust (Austracris guttulosa)

The autumn 2018 population level was below that of several recent years because summer breeding produced low density nymphs that were largely restricted to the Northwest, Central West and Central Highlands regions of Queensland. Breeding usually commences with the start of the northern wet season. There was no significant rainfall during September and habitat conditions remain dry. Initial survey of the Queensland Central Highlands and Central West identified very few adults.

There is a low risk of a widespread infestation developing in any region during 2018.

Migratory Locust (Locusta migratoria)

Only low numbers of this species were detected in part of the Queensland Central Highlands during summer 2017-18.

There is a low risk of a widespread regional infestation developing during 2018.

Locust Forecasting Regions

Map of forecasting regions 

Map of forecasting regions with potential locust habitats shaded yellow