Large flying insect in Torrevieja.
Location: Torrevieja, Costa Blanca, southern Spain
March 25, 2016 2:16 PM
We have recently had the company of a large flying insect and would like to know what it is please. It has been on our patio for the past few weeks and has been nibbling at our potted plants. It doesn’t appear to be doing any large scale damage and we feel honoured and entertained by its presence. I can’t get close enough to measure it but I estimate it is about 8cm long. Thank you.
(Sorry, I clicked send before I had written anything on my last post to you just now. Also, I think I may have sent the request several times as it didn’t look as though it was going through, sorry.)
Thank you for your reply. I look forward to getting an identification in due course.
Thanks for attempting your submission several times so that we are able to post your request. This is a Grasshopper, and more specifically, we believe it is a Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria, or a closely related species in the same genus. Zip Code Zoo does list Spain as part of the range of the Desert Locust. According to Encyclopedia of Life: “There around 13 species of locust. Locusts are grasshopper species that form swarms. When enough of them come together, changes occur. They change color and eat and breed more. This forms huge swarms that fly long distances and destroy crops. Desert locusts may be the most harmful. The biggest known swarm was made up of around 40 billion locusts.”