Currently approximately 50 genera are recognized, but this is probably an inflated number that will come down as non-members are whittled out, and as relationships of various "microgenera" become better understood (and therefore as some become synonymized). Approximate 10 or 12 North American genera are currently included.
Most easily characterized as sharing a similar appearance. Most are wingless or short-winged, with hind margin of pronotum truncate or emarginate, often with eyes widely separated on top. Several species have females with long upper ovipositor valves that protrude noticeable behind the abdomen. Cerci are slender and taper to a slender end. Females tend to appear stocky (some are very stocky - both males and females), but partly this is due to the lack of wings.
Holarctic, primarily in boreal and high elevation habitats.
This tribe has several genera in both North America and Eurasia, but with few or none shared between both continents. A few North American genera traditionally placed in this tribe apparently do not belong, but are left here for now due to gross similarity, and because their proper position has not been resolved. Among these are probably most of our western genera. Early indications from DNA studies indicate that perhaps Bradynotes and it's close kin may be related to Dactylotum and/or Aeoloplides. Asemoplus shows similarities to Conalcaea and Barytettix.
On the other hand, genera in this tribe are very finely divided as they stand now, and perhaps artificially so. Genera such as Dendrotettix, Appalachia, Booneacris, and even Buckellacris seem very similar to one another.
The Melanoplus viridipes complex is at least superficially similar to the Podismini, easily confused, and it seems possible that they may even prove to belong in this tribe and not to the genus Melanoplus at all. The genus Paroxya also seems somewhat similar to certain members of this tribe.