Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
subgenus Schistocerca Stål
, 1873. Type species: Acrydium americanum
(Drury) S.H.Scudder [by later designation of J.A.G. Rehn in 1904]
Explanation of Names
From Greek skhistos (σχιστος)- "split or divided" + kerkos (κερκος)- "tail" (but in insect names normally referring to specific structures sticking out of the tail called cerci- singular cercus), with the feminine ending -a added
lists 8 species.
The Shistocerca Information Site
(see taxonomy) lists ten valid species for North America, has notes on taxonomic issues.
About 50 species worldwide, all but Schistocerca gregaria in New World (Song, 2004).
Prosternal process present, mesosternal lobes longer than wide.
A wide variety of plant matter
The locust of the biblical plagues (well-known and dreaded throughout the Middle East and Europe in ancient times) is the only Old World member of this genus, Schistocerca gregaria
(Song, 2004). North American species are much less prone to swarming behavior.
Note: that some species are very closely related, vary greatly in color and pattern, and can be very similar in appearance. Some images posted on BugGuide may be misidentified, despite being placed in what seems the species that "fits best", because sometimes it is impossible to be 100% sure of an identification without actually examining specimens in person. This is especially true of those in the "Alutacea Group" (S. albolineata, alutacea, lineata, obscura, rubiginosa, & shoshone).
Capinera, et al., Field Guide to Grasshoppers... (2)
Song, Hojun. Revision of the Alutacea Group of Genus Schistocerca (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Cyrtacanthacridinae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 97(3):420-436 (2004) (PDF