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
Trimerotropi W.S. Blatchley, 1920
Trimerotropi M.J.D. White, 1949
Trimerotropini, Hewitt, 1979
Trimerotropini S. Turkoglu & S. Koca, 2002
Bryodemini Bei-Bienko, 1930 (in part: genus Circotettix)
Sphingonoti Johnston, H.B. 1956 (in part: American genera except Sphingonotus)
Sphingonotini Shumakov, 1963 (in part)
Group Anconiae Hebard 1937
Anconia Genus Group D. Otte, 1984
Anconiini Otte, D. 1995
Tropidolophini Otte, D. 1995
Explanation of Names
Morphologically, Old World genera closest to Sphingonotus
and New World genera closest to Trimerotropis
are quite similar. Therefore, they have often been grouped together within a single tribe - "Sphingonotini
However, ongoing molecular studies show that most (if not all) American genera should be separated from Old World genera. The older name "Trimerotropini
" has been applied to various American genera, and is used here to include those most closely akin to Trimerotropis
The only Old World genus to also occur in the Americas is Sphingonotus. [Found in the Greater Antilles, coastal Ecuador, and the Galapagos Islands.] However, it is possible that American species are not related to Old World species at all, a point which needs further study. Regardless, the genus does not occur in North America as covered in BugGuide.
Another tribal name (with priority over Sphingonotini) is "Bryodemini
". The tribe Bryodemini seems to be closely related to true Old World Sphingonotini, and they could perhaps be combined as one, but it is not related to any strictly American genera. The genus Circotettix
is sometimes included in tribe Bryodemini based on structural and behavioral similarities, but it has been shown convincingly to be very closely related to Trimerotropis
and not to members of Bryodemini.
The genus Anconia is genetically little studied yet, but seems perhaps to be most closely related to the rest placed in Trimerotropini. It is, however, rather unique, and may not belong here. It is grouped here for convenience, with the qualification that it may belong in its own tribe "Anoniini", or perhaps even to the old world Sphingonotini.
Tropidolophus also may not belong with Trimerotropini, but is most similar in many ways to Dissosteira (which definitely does belong).
Relationships of both Anconia and Tropidolophus need more study.
As here defined, there are 7 North American genera: Anconia, Circotettix, Conozoa, Dissosteira, Microtes, Spharagemon, Trimerotropis, & Tropidolophus.
Diraneura bivenosa (Scudder) Scudder, from Ecuador, may belong to this tribe as well.
A varied group, but generally relatively slender, most often with colored hind wings. Hind wings are clear, yellow, green, or blue, with only two North American species having wings more in the red range (Dissosteira pictipennis & Tropidolophus formosus), and with Spharagemon marmorata leaning toward orange somewhat. In North American members there is usually a dark band crossing near or just beyond the middle, and this usually has a distinct spur extending toward the base near the front margin of the wing. A few species have the dark cross band greatly expanded to cover much of the wing. In one species (Dissosteira spurcata) the dark band is in the form of a narrow dark outer border. The tegmina of most species have two or three dark cross bands that may be nearly solid or broken into spots or speckles. In most species the median ridge of the pronotum is well developed (though it may be very low) and cut once or twice. There are rarely any other strongly developed ridges on top of the pronotum, but there might be a short low one on either side of the median, or ill-defined ones at the lateral edges of the top. The hind femur is usually marked with dark cross bands (particularly on the inner side). Hind tibiae vary in color - brownish, red, orange, yellow, green, or blue. Adults of most species can produce buzzing, crackling, snapping, or ticking sounds (crepitation) when they fly.
Primarily North American, with a weak representation in South America.
Primarily favoring bare ground in open, sunny, most often semi-arid to arid environments; such as grasslands, desert, mountainsides, rock exposures, etc. However, some do favor woodland areas.
Nearly all have a single annual generation from eggs overwintering in the ground. Hatching is mostly in spring with adults maturing in late spring or summer, but may be delayed till summer rains come or even for a period of several years in hot dry climates. In some species occasional adults may survive winter in the South. At least one species (Trimerotropis pallidipennis) is multiple-brooded southward. Anconia species overwinter primarily, if not entirely, as nymphs.
This group contains many of our most conspicuous and well known Grasshoppers. Rarely are any of economic significance, but they are noticed none-the-less because of their tendency to make themselves both seen and heard when they fly. Some are quite beautiful, especially upon close examination. On the other hand, most are masters of camouflage and are nearly invisible when resting on ground that they closely match in color and pattern.
Weissman, David B. & D.C.F. Rentz, 1980. 'Cytological Morphological, and Crepitational Characteristics of the Trimerotropine (Aerochoreutes, Circotettix, and Trimerotropis) Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Oedipodinae)', Transactions of the American Entomological Society 106: 253-272
Contributed by David J. Ferguson
on 21 May, 2009 - 6:00pm
Last updated 9 November, 2013 - 4:14pm