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Genus Romalea - Lubber Grasshoppers

Baby lubbers? - Romalea microptera Mature Lubber Grasshopper - Romalea microptera - male Lubber - Romalea microptera - male Romalea guttata - Romalea microptera - male Eastern Lubber Grasshopper - Romalea microptera - female working on my iding - Romalea microptera - female Grasshopper - Romalea microptera - female Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera) - Romalea microptera - female
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids)
Suborder Caelifera (Grasshoppers)
Family Acrididae (Short-horned Grasshoppers)
Subfamily Romaleinae (Lubber Grasshoppers)
Genus Romalea (Lubber Grasshoppers)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Romalea Serville, 1831. Genotype: Acridium micropterum Beauvois
Rhomalea Saussure, 1859 [alternate spelling for the same name]
Explanation of Names
Author of genus is Serville, 1831. New Latin, properly Rhomalea, from Greek ρωμαλεοσ, strong of body, from ρωμη, bodily strength (1).
Numbers
There is just one North American species in this genus, the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, Romalea microptera, synonym Romalea guttata (2).
Identification
No other species within this one's distribution is likely to be confused with it.
See species account for Romalea microptera.
Closely related is the genus Taeniopoda found from the southwest US into Central America. The distinction of that genus from Romalea is minor and is mainly the more highly raised crest of the pronotum. The species R. microptera and T. eques can be hybridized in the laboratory, and are clearly very closely related (Stauffer & Whitman, 2007). It is likely that Taeniopoda should (and perhaps will eventually) be included within the genus Romalea, which would increase the number of included species. So far R. microptera and T. eques have not been found in the same region, but they could meet in southern Texas, where the two might be confused.
See Also
Print References
The Century Dictionary--entry for Romalea (1)
Arnett, p. 169 (2)
Stauffer, W.T. & D.W. Whitman, 2007, 'Divergent Oviposition Behaviors in a Desert vs. a Marsh Grasshopper', Journal of Orthoptera Research 16(1): 103-114. [Includes interesting observations on behavior of both R. microptera & T. eques, and comments on their ability to hybridize.]