Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Trimerotropis campestris McNeill 1901, described from Pine Bluffs, Wyoming
Trimerotropis longicornis E. M. Walker 1902, described from Vernon, British Columbia
Spharagemon campestris (McNeill) Otte 1984
Perhaps also a synonym from Yosemite region, differs in hind tibia color (blue):
Spharagemon bunites Otte 1984, described from Yosemite NP, California
Similar to other Spharagemon, but differs in smaller size than most of those, smalish head and nearly flat top of pronotum with median ridge low and cut twice instead of (usually) once. Also, other species of Spharagemon have the inner side of the dark band on the hind wing curved, and it is usually nearly straight with the band not curving as far around the margin in S. campestris.
Most similar to Trimerotropis modesta, differing primarily in coloration and favoring more open grassland habitats. T. modesta is generally not as speckled; usually has more sharply defined dark bands crossing tegmina, not as irregular or broken, often narrower, and with front band more angled in orientation. Hind femur has inside usually mostly black with yellow cross bands; in S. campestris) usually orange, sometimes yellow, often but not always with dark markings. Hind wing with tip most often at least somewhat clouded dark in T. modesta, clear in S. campestris. T. modesta favors gravelly grassland and open woodland habitats, often on sloping ground, in mountains mostly south of the distribution of S. campestris.
Other similar related Trimerotropis species include T. maritima, T. latifasciata, T. melanoptera, etc., which all differ in usually larger size, longer wings, details of coloration (wings, hind legs, etc.), and so on.
In early literature, there was much confusion between various species of Trimerotropis and Spharagemon with red hind tibiae, and older records for several species are often questionable; many are definitely based on misidentified specimens. This species was often involved.
Southwest US (southern New Mexico, central Arizona, to ne. California) to southern Canada (British Columbia, to Manitoba). Perhaps Trans Pecos Texas.
Semiarid northern and (southward) high elevation grasslands. Often most abundant in slightly irregular areas in otherwise nearly flat terrain.
Adults in summer to frost.
Overwinters as eggs laid in ground.
Distinction of Spharagemon from Trimerotropis would seem simple, but a number of species, including this one, sit on the fence, and could go either way.
This species was traditionally placed in Trimerotropis until relatively recently, and it's closest relatives (nearly identical in morphology and behavior) are T. modesta, and T. tolteca. Otte moved T. campestris to Spharagemon, which is reasonable, but the others remained in Trimerotropis.
Other related species that are still included in Trimerotropis, but should perhaps be considered as species of Spharagemon (but with a low mid pronotal ridge) include T. pistrinaria, T. inconspicua, and perhaps T. bifasciata. Trimerotropis californica, pacifica, & topanga are also sitting on the fence, but favor the Trimerotropis side. Ironically, the type species of Trimerotropis (T. maritima) is very closely related to these, and can be very similar to T. campestris as well (differing in larger size, usually yellow inner side of hind femur, and more curved band on longer hind wing). All of these species can be confused with one another and with Spharagemon equale, and have been variously confused and misidentified in many collections and publications. However, they usually can be recognized by certain fairly obvious characteristics, and Daniel Otte's book is very helpful in distinguishing them.