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Hyalopteryx Group

Clipped-wing Grasshopper - Metaleptea brevicornis - male Clipwing Grasshopper - Metaleptea brevicornis - male Clipped-wing Grasshopper - Metaleptea brevicornis - male Clip-wing Grasshopper - Metaleptea brevicornis - male Is this Metaleptea brevicornis? - Metaleptea brevicornis - male Clip-wing Grasshopper - Metaleptea brevicornis - male Clip-wing Grasshopper? - Metaleptea brevicornis - female Grasshopper - Metaleptea brevicornis - male
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 Gomphocerinae (Slant-faced Grasshoppers)
No Taxon Hyalopteryx Group
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
group Hyalopteriges Brunner von Wattenwyl 1893 [under "Tribus Truxalidae"]. Based on genus Hyalopteryx Charpentier [Brunner also included Achurum Saussure and Metaleptea Brunner von Wattenwyl.]
group Orphulae Brunner von Wattenwyl 1893 [under "Tribus Truxalidae"]. Based on genus Orphula Stål
tribe Orphuli Blatchley, 1920 [Blatchley's definition included the group Orphulellae]
"American group Orphulini" Bruner, 1922
subfamily Hyalopteryxinae (Brunner von Wattenwyl) Dirsh, 1975
subfamily Hyalopteryginae (Brunner von Wattenwyl) Jago, 1983
tribe Hyalopterygini (Brunner von Wattenwyl) Otte, 1995 ?. [Orthoptera Species File Online lists as tribe Hyalopterigini of subfamily Acridinae.]
Explanation of Names
Distinction of this group is based primarily on the fact that included species lack the type of file and rasp mechanisms for making sound that are found in other Gomphocerinae. However, many species can produce sound regardless. Some species make fairly loud, often metallic sounds when they fly, and some (? all) species do "stridulate" by rubbing legs and wings together. At least some species (including Metaleptea) appear to perhaps posess a different design of "file and rasp" mechanism, consisting of teeth along part of the costal margin of the male tegmen (instead of pegs on the inner hind femur), which can perhaps be rubbed against one of the ridges on the inner hind femur.
In the Orthoptera Species File, the Hyalopteryx Group is placed in the subfamily Acridinae as "tribe Hyalopterygini". However, the subfamily Acridinae, as treated in the OSF, is a catch-all for a number of (at best) marginally related members of family Acrididae that don't fit comfortably into other similar groups, because they lack stridulatory pegs on the hind femur and tegmina (a character that could have just as easily been secondarily lost, as never developed). These also share with one-another an elongated form and similar unspecialized genitalia.
In recent studies, based on morphological and molecular characteristics, the subfamily Acridinae should be limited to the small Old World tribe Acridini (includes Truxalini, sensu strictu), which includes only a few very closely similar genera, such as Acrida, Acridarachnea, Chromotruxalis, Glyphoclonus, Truxalis, Yendia, etc. Other genera placed in Acridinae (including many of those listed as tribe Acridini in the Orthoptera Species File) don't even look much like these core genera, and probably the others all belong to other subfamilies such as Oedipodinae, Gomphocerinae, or to other similar small subfamilies.
The members of the American Hyalopteryx Group are not very closely related to, nor even very similar to true Old World Acridinae, and should be considered as a specialized group (or tribe) within the subfamily Gomphocerinae, but which has [in most members] lost the stridulatory file on the hind femur.

The genus Achurum should probably be included within the Hyalopteryx group as well, since it seems closely related to certain member genera, including Metaleptea, but there is no publication where this potential relationship has been specifically addressed.
There are at least a few authors who take an ultra-conservative approach, (who find distinguishing between these groups problematic) and put the Acridinae, Oedipodinae, Gomphocerinae, and others into just a single large subfamily, which then bears the name Acridinae.
Some genera tradtionally placed within the Hyalopteryx Group (due largerly to lack of a hind femur stridulatory file), such as Orphula, & Parorphula (sometimes put in a separate tribe - Orphulini) do look out of place in this group. These show strong similarity to genera such as Laplatacris, Leurohippus, Orphulella & Orphulina, and they are perhaps more closely related to those.
Numbers
Includes only one species (Metaleptea brevicornis) in North America north of Mexico (1); more diverse southward, especially in South America (about 12 genera). Achurum may also belong to this group, and would raise the North American number by one genus and three species if included.
See Also
Achurum Group - Spine-knee Toothpick Grasshoppers
Leptysminae - Spur-throat Toothpick Grasshoppers
Oedipodinae - Band-wing Grasshoppers
Print References
Capinera, p. 76 (1)
Chapco, William and Daniel Contreras. 2012. 'Subfamilies Acridinae, Gomphocerinae and Oedipodinae are "fuzzy sets": a proposal for a common African origin'. Journal of Orthoptera Research, 20(1): 173-190.
Vickery, V.R. 'The Biogeography of Canadian Grylloptera and Orthoptera'. The Canadian Entomologist, 1989, 121:(4) 389-424
Internet References
Rehn, James A.G., Dec. 22, 1944. A Revision of the Locusts of the Group Hyalopteryges (Orthoptera; Acrididae; Acridinae. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 70(3): 181-234; pl. V
Works Cited
1.Field Guide To Grasshoppers, Katydids, And Crickets Of The United States
John L. Capinera, Ralph D. Scott, Thomas J. Walker. 2004. Cornell University Press.