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Tribe Chortophagini

Grasshopper - Chortophaga viridifasciata - female Machaerocera mexicana - female Grasshopper - Chortophaga viridifasciata - male Chortophaga viridifasciata nymph? - Chortophaga viridifasciata - male Chortophaga viridifasciata - female young grasshopper - Chortophaga viridifasciata Grasshopper - Chortophaga viridifasciata Green Grasshopper - Encoptolophus costalis - female
Classification
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)
Tribe Chortophagini
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Chortophaga Genus Group D. Otte, 1984. Based on genus Chortophaga Saussure
tribe Chortophagini D. Otte, 1995
?Melanotettix Genus Group, Otte 1981 [under subfamily Gomphocerinae]. Based on genus Melanotettix Bruner, 1904
?tribe Machaerocerini D. Otte, 1995
?tribe Melanotettigini D. Otte, 1995 [under subfamily Gomphocerinae]
Explanation of Names
Tribes Macherocerini and Melanotettigini are grouped here tentatively. The single genus and species in each group may be distinct enough to remain in their own tribes. However, recent molecular studies place both Machaerocera & Melanotettix close to Encoptolopus & Chortophaga, and there are some notable similarities in morphology, habitat preference, and behavior.

Melanotettix is a Mexican genus, not known from our area.
Identification
A small group, probably very old, and difficult to characterize. Most similar to certain Eurasian and Australian groups, but also sharing some similarities with the Arphiini. Many traits are characteristic of the group, but not unique to it. Most species are rather smooth (except Machaerocera and particularly Chimarocephala). In most species (but not Machaerocera nor Shotwellia) the mid-dorsal ridge on the pronotum is obvious and cut only once (sometimes barely); in the two exceptions it is low, and cut/notched three times. On the under side of the thorax (except Machaerocera), the middle space between the lobes of the metasternum (defined by sutures forming a geometric pattern) is noticeably narrower than the equivalent space on the mesasternum. Most species have the fastigium (area between and in front of the eyes on top) narrow, impressed, with prominent raised margins and little internal sculpturing; often this area projects prominently in front of the eyes. Antennae are often thick. Green is not an unusual body color in many of the species, but none are always green. There is in most species a diagonal line dividing the color pattern of the eyes. The wings of most species are clear, often yellowish, with at most a cloudy shadow of a dark band or border (bright blue basally, black apically in Machaerocera). At least two species may have reduced short wings. Many species have an obvious darkened "stigma" at the front edge of the hind wings where veins are somewhat bent and enlarged. Many species can crepitate (buzz) in flight, but apparently not Machaerocera, Shotwellia, the Encoptolophus subgracillis species group, nor short-winged types. All species favor moist meadowy environments of one sort or another. Some in alkali depressions, some along stream margins, some in woodland openings, roadsides, or grassy meadows. Nearly always they are associated with fairly rank grass/sedge growth, though Shotwellia seems associated rather with certain Composites.
Range
North America
Print References
M. Fries, W. Chapco, & D. Contreras, 2007. 'A Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis of the Oedipodinae and Their Intercontinental Relationships', Journal of Orthoptera Research, 16(2): 115-125.
W. Chapco, & D. Contreras, 2011. 'Subfamilies Acridinae, Gomphocerinae and Oedipodinae are "fuzzy sets": a Proposal for a Common African Ancestor', Journal of Orthoptera Research, 20(2): 173-190.