Acrida cinerea is a species in the silent slanted-face grasshopper subfamily (Acridinae). The 40+ species in genus Acrida lack stridulatory organs on their legs, hence they are “silent.” Acrida species are omnivorous; many are pests of agricultural crops including sorghum, wheat, rice, cotton, weed, sweet potato, sugar cane and Chinese cabbage in Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Acrida cinerea, found throughout China, Japan, South East Asia and Indonesia, is known commonly as the Chinese Grasshopper (though this name is also applied to Oxya chinensis, so can be confusing), Longheaded Grasshopper or Oriental Longheaded Locust. It grows to 2-3 inches long, has a green or brown body, colorless hind wings and long legs that support long jumps and sustained flight. Of the eight Acrida species that live in China, A. cinerea is the most widespread, and is found in abundance. Historically it has been used as a human food source, recent studies have examined its nutritional value as a potential high quality and easy to rear oil source for the poultry industry. Studies have also tested two nematode species as bio-control agents against A. cinerea populations in Chinese cornfields (Capinera 1999; Donovan 1842; Howie 2011; Wang et al. 2007; Zhong et al. 2001).
The mitochondrial genome of A. cinerea has been completely sequenced, and used for determining phylogenetic signal in mitochondrial DNA in the context of reconstructing relationships among orthopteran families. As of 2010 20 other orthopteran mitogenomes had been sequenced as comparison (Liu and Huang 2010).
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