Grasshoppers and Locusts
What triggers a grasshopper to
become a locust?
In the movie the Exorcist, James Earl-Jones
explains to Richard Burton
that when there are a lot of grasshoppers together
the "rubbing of the
wings" between each other triggers this
Is this Accurate?
If so, what exactly happens to cause this
transformation in color and behavior?
Grasshoppers and locusts, assuming normal usage of the
words, are different species. You might want to
consult a good insect text to see the
Thanks for using NEWTON!
Huh? I'm sorry, I haven't seen the movie the Exorcist, but this confirms my
opinion that one should never pay much attention to any "science" in movies.
Grasshoppers and locusts are completely different insects and one never
becomes the other. The movie is fiction.
Grasshoppers do not become locusts. However, locusts are closely related to
grasshoppers in both niche and appearance. The movie is incorrect, except for
one idea. Locust do not become gregarious unless there is an external stimulus.
They can live independent lives, however, it has been discovered that individuals
that are gregarious (groupings) can, by rubbing legs, turn independent nymphs
into crowd lovers. They change color and behave with the mob!
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Update: June 2012