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Genus Romalea - Lubber Grasshoppers

baby lubbers - Romalea microptera Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romulea guttata ) - Romalea microptera - female Lubber - Romalea microptera - male Lubber Grasshopper 03 - Romalea microptera - female Eastern Lubber Grasshopper nymphs - Romalea microptera Lubber? - Romalea microptera - female Grasshopper - Romalea microptera - female Eastern Lubber Grasshopper - Romalea microptera - male
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 Romalea microptera. So far Romalea microptera and the closely related and similar Horse Lubber - Taeniopoda eques have not been found in the same region, but they could meet in southern Texas, where the two could be confused. Taeniopoda has a higher, more pronounced median ridge on the pronotum, and in the U.S. rarely occurs in any color other than black. See species account for Taeniopoda eques.
Taeniopoda eques and Romalea microptera have been hybridized in the laboratory, producing intermediate offspring (Stauffer & Whitman 2007). There is little basis for Taeniopoda being considered as a distinct genus, but it is considered such for the time being.
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.]