Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 141, Issue 2, pp 233-237

First online:

The natural flight of the migratory locust,Locusta migratoria L.

III. Wing-beat frequency, flight speed and attitude
  • P. S. BakerAffiliated withCentre for Overseas Pest Research
  • , M. GeweckeAffiliated withInstitut für Zoologie I, Universität Düsseldorf
  • , R. J. CooterAffiliated withCentre for Overseas Pest Research

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High speed cine film ofLocusta migratoria swarms was analysed. The following variables were studied and compared where possible with laboratory data: 1. Wing-beat frequencies of locusts of Australian and New Guinea swarms (mean 22.9 Hz) were higher than laboratory figures (19.8 Hz; Fig. 1). 2. Mean flight speed was 4.6 m/s, which was higher than laboratory figures (3.3 m/s; Fig. 2). 3. Mean body angle to horizontal was 7.4°, and to flight path (in the vertical plane) was 5.2°. Flight speed was found to be correlated with wing-beat frequency with a similar regression line to that found in laboratory work (Fig. 4). Ascent angle was positively correlated with the body angle to horizontal, but not correlated with body angle to flight path (Figs. 3, 5, 6).