A phylogenetic review of the North American band-winged grasshopper genus, Encoptolophus Scudder with description of Nebulatettix gen.n. (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oedipodinae)

Insect Syst Evol. 2012 Apr 1;43(2):117-145. doi: 10.1163/187631212X649541.


A taxonomic review of the North American band-winged grasshopper genus Encoptolophus Scudder (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oedipodinae) was conducted. This genus is hypothesized to be non-monophyletic following a cladistic analysis of the genera in the Chortophaga genus group. We examined all species currently classified in this genus group for morphological characters and one behavioral character. The phenotypic character data were combined with three mitochondrial genes: cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, 16S rRNA and 12S rRNA. A parsimony analysis was performed on the combined data resulting in two equally parsimonious trees. Encoptolophus, as historically defined, is resolved in three separate clades. The results support erection of a new genus, Nebulatettix Gómez, Lightfoot & Miller gen.n. to comprise one of the groups historically classified in Encoptolophus. In addition, we transfer the species Encoptolophus californicus Bruner to Chimarocephala Scudder, comb.n., a combination used historically. The evolution of certain characters in the Chortophaga group is discussed, and a key to the genera is provided.

Keywords: Chimarocephala; Chortophaga; Shotwellia; Systematics; character evolution; morphology; taxonomy.