Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Arphia simplex Scudder, 1875. Type locality: Dallas, Dallas County Texas
Arphia luteola Scudder, 1875. Type locality: Dallas, Dallas County Texas
Arphia decepta Bruner, 1905. Type locality: Orizaba, Mexico
Explanation of Names
The published common name "Plains Yellow-winged Grasshopper" is a partial misnomer on two counts. A large part of it's range is east and south of the Great Plains proper, but it does occurs mostly in prairie regions or in prairie-like openings in wooded areas, while it is absent from most of the flatter Plains country (though it does it does occur along the east edge and in the southernmost part of the Great Plains). Also, it commonly has orange as well as yellow, and rarely red hind wings.
28 - 55 mm, females larger than males
One of our largest species of Arphia; adults mostly in spring; hind wings most often yellow to orange with narrow band that has a long spur well-separated from the costal margin. One or two main veins on sides of folded tegmina are often pale and contrasting. Hind tibiae usually blue with white base and black both near base and tip. Fastigium deeply pitted, very narrow at front. In north part of range the face tends to protrude in front of eyes and look almost squared in profile, but this is less obvious southward. Flight crepitation (sometimes females fly silently) is a loud fast ticking or snapping, while apparently all other Arphia north of the Mexican border produce a more rapid harsh buzz (sometimes described as a crackling sound).
Southwestern Minnesota and southeastern South Dakota south to Louisiana and western Texas, southward east of the mountains to Hidalgo and Veracruz, Mexico. Also recorded from scattered locations in Missouri, Arkansas, and even Ohio. Recorded from southeastern Mexico (Chiapas & Campeche), but those may not be this species.
In most of range overwinters as nymphs, with adults in spring. Adults appear mostly in April and May in much of Texas, but northward they become later and in Nebraska and Kansas are most common in June. Some may survive through the summer, but most don't.
From central Texas southward into Mexico, adults and nymphs can be found year-round, with adults most common in spring and apparently again in autumn.