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Subfamily Tettigoniinae

shield-backed katydids and allies

link to keys Key to families and subfamilies of katydids.
link to keys Key to genera of shield-backed katydids (Tettigoniinae).

There is no agreement on how many subfamilies of katydids should be recogonized and what they should be called. Until recently most of the North American species of Tettigoniinae were placed in Decticinae, a subfamily that is no longer recognized and whose species are now entirely within the subfamily Tettigoniinae (Otte 1997). Of the 123 species of North American Tettigoniinae, 120 were formerly in Decticinae. The three remaining species had originally been placed in the Decticinae, but Hubbellia marginifera was later moved to Tettigoniinae and two species of Neobarrettia were moved to Listroscelinae (=Listroscelidinae).

To view distribution maps and photographs and hear the songs of North American shield-backed katydids go to the list of species and access the species pages, which are under development.

See Walker 1997a and 1997b (below) for general treatments of Hubbellia marginifera and Neobarrettia spp.


Blatchley WS. 1920. Orthoptera of northeastern America. Indianapolis, IN: Nature Publishing. 784 p. Decticinae (pp. 586-602). (The introductory pages to Blatchley's book are accessible on SINA's home page.)

Caudell AN. 1907. The Decticinae (a group of Orthoptera) of North America. Proc. U S. Nat. Mus. 32: 285-410.

Caudell AN. 1911. Description of a new species of Orthoptera from Texas. Can. Entomol. 43: 137-138. Pediodectes mitchelli]

Cohn TJ. 1957. The relationships of the North American genera Rehnia Caudell and Neobarrettia Rehn (Orthoptera Tettigoniidae). Occas. Pap. Mus. Zool. Univ. Mich. 588: 1-16.

Cohn TJ. 1965. The arid-land katydids of the North American genus Neobarrettia (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae): their systematics and a reconstruction of their history. Misc Publ Mus Zool Univ Mich no 126. 179 p.

Davis WT. 1915. A new species of Atlanticus from the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina. Bull. Brooklyn Entomol. Soc. 9: 104-106. [Atlanticus monticola]

Defoliart GR, Finke MD, Sunde ML. 1982. Potential value of the Mormon cricket (Anabrus simplex) (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) harvested as a high-protein feed for poultry. J. Econ. Entomol. 75: 848-852.

Finke MD, Sunde ML, Defoliart GR. 1985. An evaluation of the protein quality of Mormon crickets (Anabrus simplex) when used as a high protein feedstuff for poultry. Poult. Sci. 64: 708-712.

Gangwere SK. 1966. The behavior of Atlanticus testaceus (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) on the E S George Reserve Michigan. Mich. Entomol. 1: 95-100.

Gangwere SK. 1967. The feeding behavior of Atlanticus testaceus (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 60: 74-81.

Gurney AB. 1939. Aids to the identification of the mormon and coulee crickets and their allies (Orthoptera; Tettigoniidae; Gryllacrididae). US Dep. Agric. Bureau of Entomol. & Plant Quarantine E-479.19 p.

Gwynne DT. 1981. Sexual difference theory: Mormon crickets (Anabrus simplex) show role reversal in mate choice. Science 213: 779-780.

Gwynne DT. 1984. Sexual selection and sexual differences in Mormon crickets (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae, Anabrus simplex). Evolution 38: 1011-1022.

Gwynne DT. 1993. Food quality controls sexual selection in Mormon crickets by altering male mating investment. Ecology 74: 1406-1413. [Anabrus simplex]

Hebard M. 1927. A remarkable new genus and species of decticid from Liberty County, Florida (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae). Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 53: 1-4. [Hubbellia marginifera]

Hebard M. 1934b. Studies in Orthoptera which occur in North America north of the Mexican Boundary. III. Revisionary data and new North American Decticinae. Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 60: 31-54, 2 pl.

Hebard M. 1939. Studies in Orthoptera which occur in North America north of the Mexican boundary. X. New and critical notes on previously known Tettigoniidae. Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 65: 161-183, 3 pl. [Idiostatus hendersoni n. sp. = I. hermannii; Metrioptera sphagnorum; Decticita brevicauda and D. balli n. sp.]

Hogue CL. 1980. Discovery of the male of the katydid Idiostatus viridis with descriptions and biological notes (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Decticinae). Bull. South. Calif. Acad. Sci. 79: 1-5.

Hubbell TH. 1940. Supplementary notes on Hubbellia marginifera (Walker). Fla. Entomol. 23: 12-13. [continues Uvarov 1940]

Ingrisch S. 1985. Effect of hibernation length on termination of diapause in European Tettigoniidae (Insecta: Orthoptera). Oecologia 65: 376-381. [Metrioptera roeseli]

Kevan DKM. 1961. Metrioptera (Roeseliana) roeselii (Hagenbach 1822) f. diluta (Charpentier 1825) in the Montreal area (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Can. Entomol. 93: 605-607.

La Rivers I. 1944. A summary of the Mormon cricket (Anabrus simplex) (Tettigoniidae: Orthoptera). Entomol. News 55: 71-77, 97-102.

Lightfoot DC, Weissman DB, Ueshima N. 2011. Phymonotus jacintotopos: A new genus and species of shield-backed katydid (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Tettigoniinae: Nedubini) from the San Jacinto Mountains of California, USA. Zootaxa 2937: 49-65.

Lorch PD, Gwynne DT. 2000. Radio-telemetric evidence of migration in the gregarious but not the solitary morph of the Mormon cricket (Anabrus simplex: Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Naturwissenschaften 87: 370-372.

MacVean CM. 1987. Ecology and management of Mormon cricket, Anabrus simplex Haldeman. In: Capinera JL, editor. Integrated pest management on rangeland. Boulder CO: Westview. p 116-136.

Manley GV. 1971. Notes on feeding behavior of Atlanticus testaceus (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Mich. Entomol. 4: 63-64.

Morris GK. 1970. Sound analyses of Metrioptera sphagnorum (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Can. Entomol. 102: 363-368.

Morris GK, Pipher RE. 1972. The relation of song structure to the tegminal movement in Metrioptera sphagnorum (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Can. Entomol. 104: 977-985.

Morris GK, Aiken RB, Kerr GE. 1975. Calling songs of Neduba macneilli and N. sierranus (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Decticinae). J. N Y. Entomol. Soc. 83: 229-234.

Morris GK, Kerr GE, Gwynne DT. 1975. Calling song function in the bog katydid Metrioptera sphagnorum (F. Walker) (Orthoptera Tettigoniidae): Female phonotaxis to normal and altered song. Z. Tierpsychol. 37: 502-514.

Nickle DA. 1984. Metrioptera roeselii, new record, a European katydid found for the first time in Pennsylvania, (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Decticinae). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 86: 744.

Redak RA, Capinera JL, Bonham CD. 1992. Effects of sagebrush removal and herbivory by Mormon crickets (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) on understory plant biomass and cover. Environ. Entomol. 21: 94-102. [Anabrus simplex]

Rehn JAG, Hebard M. 1916. Studies in American Tettigoniidae (Orthoptera). VII. A revision of the species of the genus Atlanticus (Decticinae). Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 42: 33-99. pl. 6-8.

Rehn JAG, Hebard M. 1920. Descriptions of new genera and species of North American Decticinae (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae). Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 46: 225-265, pl. 8-11.

Rehn JWH. 1943. Notes on Hubbellia marginifera (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Entomol. News 54: 191-192.

Rentz DC. 1963a. Additional records of Platycleis tessellata (Charpentier) in California with biological notes. Pan. Pac. Entomol. 39: 252-254.

Rentz DC. 1963b. Biological observations on the genus Decticita (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Wasmann J. Biol. 21: 91-94.

Rentz DC. 1972. Taxonomic and faunistic comments on decticine katydids with the description of several new species (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Decticinae). Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila. 124: 41-77. [5795 KB]

Rentz DC. 1973. The shield-backed katydids of the genus Idiostatus. Mem. Am. Entomol. Soc. No. 29. 211 p.

Rentz DCF. 1977. A new and apparently extinct katydid from Antioch Sand Dunes (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Entomol. News 88: 241-245.

Rentz DCF. 1978. New species and records of western Orthoptera (Orthoptera: Tetrigidae; Acrididae; Tettigoniidae; Stenopelmatidae). Pan-Pacific Entomol. 54: 81-97.

Rentz DC, Birchim JD. 1968. Revisionary studies of the Nearctic Decticinae. Mem. Pac. Coast Entomol. Soc. 3: 1-173. [12,295 KB]

Rentz DC, Lightfoot DC. 1976. Notes on the distribution of Oregon shield-backed katydids with the description of a new species of Idiostatus (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Decticinae). Entomol. News 87: 145-158.

Scudder SH. 1899. Two genera of North American Decticinae. Proc. Am. Acad. Arts Sci. 35(5):83-93.

Shapiro L. 1995. A new katydid for Long Island, NY: first record of Orchelimum silvaticum east of Ohio, with notes on two adventive katydids from Long Island. J. N Y. Entomol. Soc. 103: 114-120. [Metrioptera roeseli]

Snodgrass RE. 1905. The Coulee Cricket of central Washington (Peranabrus scabricollis Thomas). J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 13: 74-82. 2 pl.

Strohecker HF. 1955. A Palaearctic decticid captured in California (Orthoptera). Pan-Pacific Entomol. 31: 203. [Platycleis tessellata]

Tinkham ER. 1944. Biological, taxonomic and faunistic studies on the shield-back katydids of the North American deserts. Am. Midl. Nat. 31: 257-328.

Tinkham ER. 1960. Studies in desert sand dune Orthoptera Part I A new species of Plagiostira from eastern New Mexico with key and notes. Great Basin Nat. 20: 39-48. [Plagiostira mescaleroensis]

Tinkham ER. 1972. Nearctic desert sand dune Orthoptera: Part XIV A new Eremopedes (Decticidae). Great Basin Nat. 32: 223-228. [Eremopedes kelsoensis]

Tyus HM, Minckley WL. 1988. Migrating Mormon crickets, Anabrus simplex (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae), as food for stream fishes. Great Basin Nat. 48: 25-30.

Ueshima N, Rentz DC. 1979. Chromosome systems in the North American Decticinae with reference to Robertsonian changes (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Cytologia 44: 693-714. [species in 12 genera]

Uvarov BP. 1940. The synonymy, systematic position and biogeographical importance of a Floridan tettioniid. Fla. Entomol. 23: 10-12. [this article is continued by Hubbell 1940.] [Hubbellia marginifera]

Vickery VR. 1965. Factors governing the distribution and dispersal of the recently introduced grasshopper Metrioptera roeselii (Hgb.) (Orthoptera: Ensifera). Ann. Soc. Entomol. Quebec 10: 165-171.

Walker TJ. 1975. Effects of temperature, humidity, and age on stridulatory rates in Atlanticus spp. (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Decticinae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 68(3): 607-611.

Walker, TJ. 1997a. Chapter 16. Tettigoniinae: bush katydids (prepared for Handbook of Crickets and Katydids, an inactive project). [narrow sense; Hubellia marginifera only]

Walker, TJ. 1997b. Chapter 19. Listroscelinae: predaceous katydids (prepared for Handbook of Crickets and Katydids, an inactive project).