Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Oedipoda collaris Scudder, 1872, described from Platte River banks in Nebraska
Oedipoda wyomingiana Thomas, 1872, described from eastern Wyoming
Oedipoda belfragii Stål, 1873, described from Illinois
Oedipoda utahensis Thomas, 1875, described from Utah
Spharagemon collare (Scudder) Scudder, 1875
Spharagemon wyomingianum (Thomas) Scudder, 1875
Dissosteira (Spharagemon) collare (Scudder) Saussure, 1884
Dissosteira (Spharagemon) collaris subspecies wyomingiana (Thomas) Saussure, 1884
Dissosteira utahensis (Thomas) Saussure, 1888
Spharagemon oculatum Morse, 1894, described from Marshall County, Indiana
Spharagemon aequale subspecies scudderi Morse, 1894, described from Sherborn, Massachusetts
Spharagemon collare subspecies pallidum Morse, 1895, described from the White River, Colorado
Spharagemon collare subspecies utahense (Thomas) Morse, 1895
Spharagemon collare subspecies wyomingiana (Thomas) Morse, 1895
Spharagemon collare subspecies angustipenne Morse, 1895, described from Salt Lake Valley, Utah
Spharagemon angustipenne (Morse) Caudell, 1903
Spharagemon belfragii (Stål) Kirby, 1910
Explanation of Names
An amazingly large number of name combinations and synonyms for a species that is not particularly varied. It seems to be a species that attracted a lot of attention among late nineteenth century entomologists.
Shaped like Carolina Grasshoppers (pronotum with a fairly high crest, cut deeply once at an angle), but smaller, with red hind tibiae, proportionately shorter wings. Hind wings yellow with a curved black cross band. This one often makes a harsh fairly loud buzzing noise when it flies, and Carolinas don't.
S. cristatum is basically identical, but averages larger, has a higher pronotal crest, and the hind angle of the pronotum on top is usually more acute. [The two "species" intergrade north to south where they meet, with S. cristatum replacing S. collare east of the Rockies in the south.]
Other Spharagemon have lower pronotal crests; or, if close to as high (i.e. S. bolli) it is cut perpendicularly. Other species may have a dark ring near the base of the hind tibiae, S. collare doesn't.
Arphia species do not have red hind tibiae, and the dark band across the wings is closer to the outer margin (nearer the middle in Spharagemon).
Southern British Columbia, eastern Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona east to the north Atlantic Coast (north from Virginia). In the west found through the Rocky Mountain region south through New Mexico and eastern Arizona perhaps to Chihuahua. East of the Rockies found roughly north of a line through eastern Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and the Ohio Valley.
Most any open sunny habitat with some bare ground will do; however, there is a definite preference for sandy grassland habitats. The species is often particularly common in sandy areas along river bottoms, in old sandy fields, and on dunes.
Overwinters as eggs, hatching mostly late spring. Adults mostly in summer, but some until frost, and in southern locations sometimes common as early as late June.
Most populations are on sandy habitats and individuals tend to be speckled and mottled to match. Those with more "plain" patterning are most often found on less sandy sites, often with more vegetation. Coloring may vary from pale grays and browns to dark reddish or blackish hues, tending to match well the soil on which they are found. A "collared" form is common, in which the sides of the face, the rear half of the pronotum, and bands across the femora may be pale creamy or pinkish in color. This is particularly striking on otherwise dark-colored individuals. Several related species currently placed in Spharagemon, and Trimerotropis have similar color forms.