Researchers wielding artists' paintbrushes have tickled some insects and come up with a new insight into how a plague of locusts gets started.
Left to itself, the desert locust of biblical fame stays camouflage green and shuns company, explains Stephen Simpson of the University of Oxford in England. However, when their population spikes because of such factors as abundant food, shy Schistocerca gregaria locusts become yellow-and-black partygoers.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.