The gut bacterial community from four species of feral locusts and grasshoppers was determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA gene fragments. The study revealed an effect of phase polymorphism on gut bacterial diversity in brown locusts from South Africa. A single bacterial phylotype, consistent with Citrobacter sp. dominated the gut microbiota of two sympatric populations of Moroccan and Italian locusts in Spain. There was evidence for Wollbachia sp. in the meadow grasshopper caught locally in the UK. Sequence analysis of DGGE products did not reveal evidence for unculturable bacteria and homologies suggested that bacterial species were principally Gammaproteobacteria from the family Enterobacteriaceae similar to those recorded previously in laboratory reared locusts.