Locust vs Cicada: Difference and Comparison

Both these fascinating creatures are herbivorous insects with wings and the capacity to make noises. They both move in large groups.

Key Takeaways

  1. Locusts are a type of grasshopper that can swarm and cause significant agricultural damage, while cicadas are harmless insects known for their loud mating songs.
  2. Cicadas have a longer life cycle than locusts, with some species living up to 17 years.
  3. Locusts are herbivores and can strip vegetation, whereas cicadas feed on plant sap and do not cause extensive damage to plants.

Locust vs Cicada

Locusts are a type of grasshopper that can form swarms of millions of individuals and cause widespread damage to crops and vegetation. They are characterized by their large size, long hind legs, and distinctive sound. Cicadas are known for their loud, buzzing sound, which is produced by the males as a mating call. They have a broad, flat body, short legs, and prominent eyes.

Locust vs Cicada

Locusts resemble grasshoppers. They have wings and antennas. They are long with long back legs. They are noticed as the destroyer of crops and plants.

Cicada is similar to a bug. Cicada does not demolish crops while feeding themselves, but they tend to destroy the plants while laying eggs on them.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonLocustCicada
Family Locusts belong to the family of. AcrididaeCicadas belong to the family of Cicadidae.
TypeThis is a type of grasshopper.This is a type of bug.
SizeLocusts can be up to four inches long.Cicadas are two inches long.
Life spanOnce the eggs of the locusts hatch, they only live for three to five months.Once the eggs of the cicadas hatch, the cicadas become nymphs and go underground where they can live up to 17 years.
FoodLocusts feed themselves with the leaves and any other softer parts of plants. Cicadas consume the liquid that is available inside the stems, roots, and branches of any plant.

What is Locust?

Locusts are from the family of Acrididae and share similarities in appearance with grasshoppers. Locusts stay green before they reach their swarming stage.

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Locusts are known for eating all kinds of leafy plants, soft parts of the plants and grasses. Sometimes they also consume dead insects as well in case of inadequacy of fresh leaves.

A solitary female locust is capable of laying about 95-158 eggs, and a gregarious female locust is competent to lay around 80 eggs.


What is Cicada?

Cicada comes from the family Cicadidae, which is associated with bugs. Cicada can be divided into two types, periodical and annual.

Usually, the cicadas are two inches long. They have big, yellowish-orange coloured transparent wings that protect the insects from water and as well as bacteria.

A Cicada lives a long life. They lay their eggs on plants, and while doing so, they damage the plants. After the eggs get hatched, they become nymphs and shift to underground burrows.


Main Differences Between Locust and Cicada

  1. Locusts swarm and destroy the path behind them, but cicadas do not swarm like locusts.
  2. After the laid eggs are hatched, the locusts do not live long. They live for 3 to 5 months after that and then die. But cicadas, on the contrary, lives up to 17 years underground.
Difference Between Locust and Cicada

Last Updated : 13 August, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Locust vs Cicada: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison of locusts and cicadas highlights the diverse ecological roles of insects in forest ecosystems. This understanding is fundamental for addressing the ecological impact and developing sustainable conservation measures.

  2. The references provided offer valuable scientific insights into the characteristics, behaviors, and ecological roles of locusts and cicadas. This scientific knowledge is essential for informed decision-making and environmental management.

    • Absolutely, the scientific references contribute to a comprehensive understanding of these insects and their ecological significance.

  3. The discussion on the main differences between locusts and cicadas reflects the complexity of their ecological interactions and environmental impacts. It underscores the importance of developing sustainable management strategies informed by scientific knowledge and evidence.

    • Science-based management strategies are pivotal for addressing the ecological roles of locusts and cicadas in agricultural and natural ecosystems.

  4. The distinct behaviors and ecological impacts of locusts and cicadas make for a fascinating study in entomology. Exploring the evolutionary drivers behind these differences can provide valuable insights into ecosystem dynamics.

    • Indeed, the evolutionary context adds a whole new layer of complexity to understanding these insects and their ecological roles.

  5. The detailed descriptions of locusts and cicadas provide valuable insights into these insects’ ecological roles and environmental impacts. These insights can inform conservation efforts and management strategies for maintaining ecosystem balance.

    • Indeed, understanding these insects’ ecological impacts is essential for preserving ecosystem health and balance.

    • I agree. Informed conservation and management strategies are critical for safeguarding the ecological balance affected by these insects.

  6. Locusts and cicadas play an important role in nature’s ecosystem; through their habits, they help keep balance in forest fertility. Swarming helps locusts achieve an advantage in their food supply and reduce the risk of predation. Cicadas can also have an impact on their environment through their hatching and nymph stages.

  7. Understanding locusts and cicadas requires an interdisciplinary approach that integrates ecology, biology, and environmental science. Their ecological impact spans across multiple dimensions, and a comprehensive understanding is crucial for effective management.

    • Absolutely, the interdisciplinary nature of studying these insects reflects their complex ecological and environmental interactions.

  8. Understanding the characteristics and behaviors of locusts and cicadas is essential for agricultural and environmental management. It’s only by understanding their differences that we can develop effective strategies to manage their impact.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Developing effective management strategies requires a deeper understanding of the interactions between these insects, their environment, and human activities.

  9. The comparison table is very helpful for understanding the differences between locusts and cicadas. It’s impressive how seemingly similar insects can have such different ecological impacts.

  10. The life cycle and ecological behaviors of locusts and cicadas provide significant insights into the role of insects in natural ecosystems. Understanding these ecological roles is crucial for conservation and environmental management.


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