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Naturae Amator and the Grasshopper Infestations of South Australia's Early Years

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Abstract:

The descriptions of the natural history of South Australia written by Charles Algernon Wilson (Naturae Amator, Delta) from 1841 to 1845 reveal much about the romantic vision of a young naturalist in an unknown southern world as he savoured the unlimited prospects of the new colony. They also provide sufficient detail about the grasshoppers that became an annual swarming pest around Adelaide during 1843–1848 to assign it to the common species Austroicetes cruciata (Saussure 1888). This resets the early history of grasshopper and locust outbreaks in Australia, where the first reports in South Australia have been attributed to the Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera (Walker, F. 1875). It also introduces the possibility that the swarms resulted from early ecological changes brought about by the introduction of European livestock and agriculture to this continent.
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  • In 2004, the South Australian Museum and the Royal Society of South Australia became partners in Southern Scientific Press. This led to the amalgamation of their two professional journals. The Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia now incorporates the Records of the South Australian Museum.
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia deals with natural history relating to South Australia
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