State of the Art Management of the Central American Locust Schistocerca piceifrons piceifrons (Walker, 1870) Academic Article uri icon


  • The Central American locust (CAL), Schistocerca piceifrons piceifrons (Walker, 1870), is a transboundary pest that is distributed from Mexico to Panama. It is a true locust species characterized by density-dependent phase polyphenism. The ancient record of the CAL is found in the Popol Vuh, the Mayan sacred book, demonstrating how it has affected humans for millennia. In Mexico, the CAL have been declared a national threat to agriculture since 1824. Serious locust plagues occurred in 1882–1883 when swarms of 20 km2 in size invaded the Yucatán Peninsula and neighboring states in southern Mexico and, since then, management actions to suppress populations and economic damage have been implemented. A better understanding of the biology, ecology, and behavior of the CAL replaced a manual and mechanical collection of locust swarms, hopper bands, and egg pods with modern techniques such as the use of safer chemical products and environmentally friendly bioinsecticides. Presently, biomodels and GIS support the monitoring and forecasting of outbreaks. Currently, studies are conducted to investigate environmental factors that trigger locust gregarization, the evolution of phase polyphenism, and CAL bioactive compounds and nutritional contents, envisioning its potential use in biotechnological industries. Findings will be crucial to improve the management strategies of the CAL.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 2.35

author list (cited authors)

  • Barrientos-Lozano, L., Song, H., Rocha-Sánchez, A. Y., & Torres-Castillo, J. A.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Barrientos-Lozano, Ludivina||Song, Hojun||Rocha-Sánchez, Aurora Y||Torres-Castillo, Jorge Ariel

publication date

  • May 2021