Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Amphitornus McNeill, 1897. Type species: Stenobothrus bicolor Thomas [= Amphitornus coloradus (Thomas)]
Akentetus McNeill, 1897. Type species: Akentetus unicolor McNeill [= Amphitornus coloradus (Thomas)]
Acentetus Scudder, 1897 [unjustified emendation (correct spelling is Akentetus); preoccupied, non Acentetus Cabanis & Heine 1863 (Aves)]
? Ramburiella Bolívar, 1906. Type species: Gryllus hispanicus Rambur
? Pallasiella Kirby, 1910 [invalid name, preoccupied, non Pallasiella Sars 1895 (Crustacea)]. Type species: Oedipoda turcomana Fischer von Waldheim
? Ramburiella subgenus Pallasiella (Kirby) Savitsky, 2002
? Ramburiella subgenus Palaeocesa Koçak & Kemal, 2010 [replacement name for Pallasiella Kirby]. Type species: Oedipoda turcomana Fischer von Waldheim
Explanation of Names
Very similar to the Eurasian genus Ramburiella, which should perhaps be included within Amphitornus. Palaeocesa is currently treated as a subgenus of Ramburiella.
Two species currently recognized in North America, with one - A. durangensis Otte - restricted to northern Mexico.
If Ramburiella were to become considered as congeneric, there are six additional species recognized. Five occur in western Eurasia, one of those enters northern Africa, and one more is restricted to eastern African; all are very similar in appearance to our species.
Wide pale median stripe down length of back with dark margins, and blue hind tibiae are clues to identification. Sometimes pale stripe is missing, but blue hind tibiae are still distinctive. Opeia and Eritettix may look very similar, but do not have bright blue hind tibiae.
Morphologically Amphitornus seems closely related to Eritettix and Opeia. However, recent molecular studies imply a much closer kinship to Boopedon and Ramburiella than to Eritettix and Opeia. It will be interesting to see how understanding of relationships between genera evolves, as more such studies are completed and published.
Chapco, William and Daniel Contreras. 2012. 'Subfamilies Acridinae, Gomphocerinae and Oedipodinae are "fuzzy sets": a proposal for a common African origin'
. Journal of Orthoptera Research, 20(1): 173-190.