Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Burmeister, 1838. Type locality
: Zimapan, Hidalgo, Mexico [neotype specimen from Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley, California; by Daniel Otte, 1984(1)
Trimerotropis pallidipennis (Burmeister) Saussure, 1884
Trimerotropis vinculata Scudder, 1876. Type locality: Guadalupe Island, Baja Cal. Norte, Mexico.
Trimerotropis similis Scudder, 1880. Type locality: Wallula,Washington
Trimerotropis coquilletti McNeill, 1900. Type locality: San Bernardino Co,California
? Trimerotropis collaris McNeill, 1901. Type locality: San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur [has been refered to T. pallidipennis as a synonym, but the original description shows enough discrepancies to leave doubts. The type specimens are apparently lost.]
? Trimerotropis pilosa McNeill, 1901. Type locality: Palo Alto, California [has been refered to T. pallidipennis as a synonym, but the original description seems to be of a distinctly different insect. The type specimen is apparently lost.]
Explanation of Names
Author of species is Burmeister.
males: 25-35 mm, females: 30-45 mm
Variable, mostly gray or gray-brown. Note dark bands usually present on forewing, yellowish hind tibiae. Hind wings are long and narrow (roughly twice as long as wide), pale yellow, sometimes greenish or bluish at base, with dark band relatively narrow to quite narrow and curving around to or almost to the inner angle, and with a spur that reaches about half way to the base.
Southern British Columbia, south through western United States into Mexico. Found also in South America. A stray swarm landed in Hawaii and persisted for a couple of years in the 1960's.
Most often grasslands and deserts, usually with some shrubs, and some bare ground. Occurs up to 8500 feet (or more), but generally found at lower elevations. May occur in weedy lots in cities.
This particular species isn't picky and turns up all over the place in dry open habitats from sea level (along the Pacific, and in Patagonia along the Atlantic) to high in the mountains.
June-October in northern part of range, all year farther south.
Feeds on grasses and forbs.
In north overwinters as eggs laid in ground and matures in late spring or early summer and lasts until frost. Probably only one brood. South from Colorado and Utah it may produce two to several broods, and in mild winter areas (Albuquerque, Page, Kingman, and milder) overwinters in all stages.
Strong flier, it disperses widely and is sometimes found at lights in large numbers. Has periodic population booms when it can occur in large numbers.
It is capable of extended flights, and appears sometimes (following thermals upward?) at very high elevations in the southern Rockies (to 12000 ft), even when there is still snow on the ground as early as March or April in the spring.
Capinera, p. 106 & plate 19 (2)
Helfer, p. 140, fig. 230 (3)