Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Oedipoda phoenicoptera H. Burmeister, 1838. Type locality: South Carolina
Oedipoda discoidea Serville, 1838 . Type locality: Georgia
Hippiscus discoideus (Serville) Stål, 1873
Hippiscus phoenicoptera (H. Burmeister) S.H. Scudder in Hitchcock, 1874
Hippiscus texanus S.H. Scudder, 1892. Type locality: Dallas, Texas
Pardalophora phoenicoptera (H. Burmeister) W.F. Kirby, 1910
Pardalophora texana (S.H. Scudder) W.F. Kirby, 1910
Explanation of Names
Species name "phoenicoptera
" refers to color of wings, from phoenico- Greek Phoenecian, plus Greek ptera wing. Phoenecia was a civilization famous and synonymous with a brilliant purple-red dye, see Wikipedia
Males: 36-42 mm, females: 45-55 mm
Large gray/brown or green, dark spots on forewings. Hind femur mostly blue with darker near black cross bands and one subapical yellow to orange band. Hind tibia yellow to orange. Bright red-orange to red hindwing. Adults in spring.
Hippiscus ocelote may have hind wings in other colors (yellow, lighter orange, pinkish) as well as orange to red. It has the pronotum divided on top into nearly equal length front and rear halves by "principal sulcus". Pardalophora species have the rear part distinctly longer than the front. Also, Hippiscus matures in summer and is most common in summer and autumn, while Pardalophora mature in spring and mostly gone by early summer (they can overlap in June and July).
Pardalophora saussurei has wings usually yellow to yellow-orange, and only rarely darker orange to red. It is a little larger, and has the pronotum more narrowly pointed toward the rear. It is a western species (primarily of the Great Plains), and is rarely seen much west of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. However, in those states the two species often occur together. Usually P. saussurei is a more active insect, quicker to fly, and stronger and higher in flight (especially the females, which often choose to hide instead of to fly in P. phoenicoptera).
Pardalophora apiculata is mostly more northern, but overlaps distribution. It is a sand-loving insect that is usually appears about a month earlier in the season, is most abundant as adults earlier (April or May as apposed to May or June), and generally disappears earlier as well. It tends to have fewer and larger dark spots on the tegmina; has wings that are usually more pinkish in color; has the hind femora more slender and usually yellow (or orange) with dark markings on the inner side; has the sides of the pronotum more parallel and straight-edged when viewed from above; and has the fastigium produced more forward.
Eastern United States, from near the Atlantic coast west as far as eastern Nebraska and Kansas, central Oklahoma, and eastern Texas.
Old fields, meadows, open woodlands. Almost always where grassy, sunny, and near (but not usually under) trees. More often seen in upland areas than in valleys.
Nymphs overwinter with adults present in spring. Mostly gone by July, but occasional individuals live longer.
Cryptic when at rest, spectacular in flight. Adults, when captured, vomit or exude a foul-smelling orange fluid. (P. Coin)
According to David J. Ferguson
's comment here
, the main distinction is that Xanthippus usually has the crest of the pronotum notched twice, and Pardalophora once.
Grasshoppers of Florida, (2)
see section on Band-winged Grasshoppers
page on Acrididae includes photos of this species.