Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

From loner to swarming locust

Scientists believe they may have solved the mystery of why locusts swarm.

They have found that "gregarious", swarming locusts had about three times more serotonin, a brain chemical, than calm, solitary locusts.

This timelapse footage, courtesy of Steve Rogers, shows how a locust with higher levels of serotonin is attracted to other locusts, which are being held behind a partition to the left hand side of the experimental chamber.

The findings, which are published in the journal Science, could eventually help with the control of this economically devastating pest.

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