A swarm of winged insects enveloped a pyramid: Sound familiar? An invasion of pallid-winged grasshoppers descended on Las Vegas this week, taking over the Strip and several of the citys most popular tourist spots, including the night skies above the …
Grasshopper Invasion of Las Vegas May Last Weeks, Experts Say – The New York Times
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Jul 27, 2019
A swarm of winged insects enveloped a pyramid: Sound familiar?
An invasion of pallid-winged grasshoppers descended on Las Vegas this past week, taking over the Strip and several of the city’s most popular tourist spots, including the night skies above the Luxor hotel and casino.
The resort, a 30-story pyramid inspired by ancient Egypt, says that its Sky Beam, a powerful column of light issuing nightly from the peak of the pyramid, can be seen by airline pilots as far away as Los Angeles.
But the beam has also become a , which experts say could linger in Las Vegas for weeks.
Jeff Lockwood, a professor of natural sciences and humanities at the University of Wyoming who has written extensively about grasshoppers, said the infestation was not a cause for alarm.
— attributed to the ancient Greek storyteller Aesop — about members of an ant colony shrugging at a starving grasshopper who had failed to store food for the fall and winter.
Dr. Berenbaum said that “grasshoppers have been used in heraldic shields, family crests and the like, but usually because it’s a pun on the name.”
Mr. Knight said that in his 40 years as an entomologist, he had seen more significant outbreaks.
“We measure grasshoppers per square yard,” he said. “It’s really hard to quantify how many. It’s kind of a unique thing that happens. We have outbreaks of insects periodically. I guess you’d call it an outbreak.”
As the desert gets drier during the summer, the grasshoppers migrate to find food, Mr. Lockwood said.
“Their food source is getting pretty grim,” he said. “By golly, the city of Las Vegas is just filled with patches of green. What might be the magnet is in fact the green plants, as much as the lights at night.”
of a giant swarm of grasshoppers above the Luxor.
A version of this article appears in print on , Section A, Page 21 of the New York edition with the headline: Grasshopper Invasion of Las Vegas May Last Weeks. | |
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