Outbreak of Anacridium melanorhodon arabafrum in Qatar
In early August 2012, an outbreak of Anacridium melanorhodon arabafrum (Orthoptera: Acrididae) was observed in Qatar. The number of hoppers and adult locusts rose as a result of a new breeding cycle. The infestation was first noticed in the Southwestern area of Qatar and then in the North. The infestation was concentrated in these two areas causing some damage on date palm plantations and fodder grasses. It is most likely that the ecological conditions such as soil moisture and green vegetation became favourable for locust breeding and survival. It is noted that no rainfall occurred during this period. It is probable that the outbreak originated in the fodder grass fields which were irrigated by sprinkler systems. National survey and control teams were immediately dispatched in the infested areas and undertook control measures (applications of chlorpyriphos 48% EC at a rate of 2ml/l). Currently the situation is under control and the number of adults has been greatly reduced. Two scientists from the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Area (CRC-FAO) visited the area of infestation and confirmed the identification of this locust to subspecies level. This is the first time that an outbreak of A.;melanorhodon arabafrum occurred during summer in Qatar.
Personal communication with Dr Emad Hussain Al-Turaihi, Agricultural Affairs Department, Ministry of Environment, Doha, Qatar (2012-10).