Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes



Subfamily Oedipodinae - Band-winged Grasshoppers

Fluttering nearly like a butterfly - Dissosteira carolina - female Short-horned Grasshopper - Circotettix undulatus - male small grasshopper - Chortophaga viridifasciata Trimerotropis thalassica? - Trimerotropis thalassica - female Trimerotropis sp - Trimerotropis albescens Spharagemon marmoratum - male Chortophaga viridifasciata - female Trimerotropis sparsa
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 Oedipodinae (Band-winged Grasshoppers)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Following is a partial listing. This shows some of the confusion of usage of the name Locustinae (and its derivatives).

Locustariae Latreille, 1802. (used for Katydids). Based on genus: Locusta Linnaeus, 1758
Locustidae Samouelle, 1819. (used for Grasshoppers)
Locustina by MacLeay, 1821. (used for Katydids)
Locustidae W. Kirby, 1825. (apparently used for Grasshoppers)
Orthoptera, section Saltatoria, family Locustina Fieber, 1852. (used roughly for Katydids)
Oedipodidae Walker, 1871. Based on genus: Oedipoda Latreille, 1829
Acridinae tribe Oedipodini C. Thomas, 1872
Oedipodinae Krauss, 1890.
Locustinae Blatchley, 1920. (used for Spur-throat Grasshoppers)
Locustinae Marcovitch, 1920. (used for Spur-throat Grasshoppers)
Locustinae Morse, 1920. (used for Spur-throat Grasshoppers)
Calephorinae X.C. Yin, 1982. Type genus: Calephorus Fieber, 1853
Bryodeminae X.C. Yin, 1984. Type genus: Bryodema Fieber, 1853
Oedipodidae subfamily Heterapterninae X.C. Yin & Wenqiang Wang, 2005. Type genus: Heteropternis Stål 1873
Oedipodidae subfamily Rashidinae X.C. Yin & Wenqiang Wang, 2005. Type genus: Rashidia Uvarov 1933

Technically, the name "Locustinae" has priority over "Oedipodinae" for this subfamily. It is based on genus Locusta, which as now understood and typified, includes one species of Eurasian Band-wing Grasshopper [Kirby, 1890, designated type species as Locusta migratoria Linnaeus]. Linnaeus originally included in his genus "Locusta" (without designating a "type") several species of grasshoppers of what is now suborder Caelifera; superfamily Acridoideae. In other words, there were no Katydids or their kin included, only "Short-horned Grasshoppers". However, the species included ranged through what are now considered several families and subfamilies of Grasshoppers (Band-wings, Slant-faced, Spur-throats, Lubbers, Pamphagids, etc.). In 1909, Karney designated Locusta aegyptius Linnaeus (a Spur-throat) as the type species of genus Locusta; this was a later and thus invalid designation, but added to confusion of what the names Locusta and Locustinae should mean.

The name "Locustinae" and its derivatives are so confused in the literature (having been used for Katydids and kin, Spur-throat Grasshoppers, Band-wing Grasshoppers, and so on), that the name is now suppressed and the next oldest name "Oedipodinae" is used instead. The name Oedipodinae, when used, has been consistently applied only to Band-wing Grasshoppers.

There is considerable confusion involving limits and distinctions of the subfamilies Oedipodinae, Acridinae, Gomphocerinae, and others in literature, especially in Asia and Australia, and many genera placed by authors in other subfamilies (particularly Asian and Australian genera placed in the Acridinae) really belong to the Oedipodinae. This confusion makes it difficult to define the limits of the subfamily based on published descriptions and definitions, and it will be some time before this is sorted out properly. In North America the confusion has been less, and involves only a few Gomphocerine-esk genera. There are no true Acridinae in the Americas, but some genera have been assigned to it nonetheless, mostly members of the Hyalopterigini (which are Neotropical Gomphocerines).

As an interesting twist, recent molecular studies show that the true Acridinae [sensu strictu] are closely related to, and "sister" to the Oedipodinae, together they appear to form a single "clade". Thus, they could perhaps be included in a single subfamily, for which the correct older name would be Acridinae. Ironically, should this ever be done, such a combining of the two subfamilies into one would again bring those genera which are Oedipodines and not "true" Acridines back under the name Acridinae.

A much larger scale lumping of groups is sometimes advocated, and this treatment would place other related subfamilies, including Gomphocerinae, under a broader subfamily Acridinae. Most authors to date do not subscribe to such a broad circumscription of the Acridinae, with the current trend being towards "splitting".
Most species of this subfamily, as implied by the common name, have a dark band crossing the hind wing somewhere between the middle and outer margin, most have the basal part (or "disc") of the wing colored. A few species have entirely dark or clear hind wings. The relative placement and shape of the dark band, as well as the color of the base is often of great help in identifying the species. The pronotum usually has a median ridge, and sometimes additional lateral ridges, that vary in height and whether cut or not (and in how many times cut). Many make crackling, buzzing, or ticking sounds (crepitate) when they fly. A "prosternal spur" is absent between the bases of the front legs. Otherwise they resemble some of the Spur-throat Grasshoppers (Melanoplinae). From similar Slant-faced Grasshoppers (Gomphocerinae), some of which don't have a slanted face, they differ in usually having colored wings and in having stridulatory pegs on the front wings (tegmina) instead of on the inside of the hind femur.

Listed here are some genera in other subfamilies to check out if not sure if a specimen is a Band-winged Grasshopper. They are similar enough in form and often coloring that various authors in the past have at some time included most of them in the Oedipodinae:
Gomphocerinae (Have the stridulatory file on the hind femur, not the tegmina.): Acrolophitus, Ligurotettix, Cibolacris, Xeracris.
Romaleinae (Most have a fixed spine at the outside tip of the hind femora that is missing in Oedipodinae.): Romalea, Spaniacris (the spine is missing), Taeniopoda, & Tytthotyle.
World-wide, except in polar regions.
See Also
-See Identification above for similar groups.
Print References
The North American Grasshoppers, volume II, Acrididae, Oedipodinae. Daniel Otte, 1984. Harvard. (1)
American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico, p. 171. (2)
A Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis of the Oedipodinae and their Intercontinental Relationships, Journal of Orthoptera Research 2007, 16(2): 115-125. Megan Fries, William Chaco, & Daniael Contreras. Univ. of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Internet References
Insects of Cedar Creek, lists members of this subfamily chronologically for Minnesota--very interesting.