Temporal range: early Triassic–recent 250–0 Ma
|A pygmy mole-cricket|
The Caelifera are a sub-order of Orthopteran insects. They include the grasshoppers and grasshopper-like insects, as well as other superfamilies classified with them: the ground-hoppers (Tetrigoidea) and pygmy mole crickets (Tridactyloidea). The latter should not be confused with the mole crickets (Gryllotalpidae), which belong to the other Orthopteran sub-order Ensifera.
Subdivisions and their distribution
The Caelifera includes some 2,400 valid genera and about 11,000 known species. Many undescribed species probably exist, especially in tropical forests. The Caelifera have a predominantly tropical distribution (as with most Orthoptera) with fewer species known from temperate climate zones. Caelifera are divided into two infraorders: the more basal Tridactylidea and the Acrididea or grasshopper-like species. This latter name is derived from older sources, such as Imms, which placed the "short-horned grasshoppers" and locusts at the family level (Acrididae).
- Infraorder Tridactylidea
- Infraorder Acrididea (superfamily group Acridomorpha includes all except superfamily Tetrigoidea)
- Acridoidea MacLeay, 1821: most grasshoppers – World-wide - approx. 10,000 species in the Acrididae alone
- Eumastacoidea Burr, 1899: "monkey grasshoppers" - Americas, Africa, Australasia
- Locustopsoidea Handlirsch, 1906 †
- Pneumoroidea Blanchard, 1845: "bladder grasshoppers" - Africa
- Pyrgomorphoidea (monotypic) B. von Wattenwyl, 1882: "gaudy grasshoppers" - all tropical/subtropical continents
- Tanaoceroidea (monotypic) Rehn, 1948: "desert long-horned grasshoppers" - north America
- Tetrigoidea (monotypic) Serville, 1838: groundhoppers or "grouse locusts" - all continents except Antarctica
- Trigonopterygoidea Walker, 1870: "razor-backed bush-hoppers" - central America, south-east Asia
The phylogeny of the Caelifera, is described in detail for grasshoppers, with 6 out of 8 extant superfamilies shown here as a cladogram. Like the Ensifera, Caelifera and all of its superfamilies appear to be monophyletic.
Economic significance and terminology
A number of species, especially in the Acridoidea, are significant agricultural pests, but not all of them are locusts: a non-taxonomic term referring to species whose populations which may change morphologically when crowded and show swarming behaviour. Examples of agricultural grasshopper pests that are not called locusts include the Senegalese grasshopper and certain species in the Pyrgomorphidae, notably the variegated grasshopper (Zonocerus variegatus).
- Zeuner, F. E. (1939). Fossil Orthoptera Ensifera. British Museum Natural History. OCLC 1514958.
- ITIS: Caelifera (retrieved 2 August 2017)
- Rowell, Hugh; Flook, Paul (2001). "Caelifera: Shorthorned Grasshoppers, Locusts and Relatives". Tree of Life web project. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- Imms AD, rev. Richards OW & Davies RG (1970) A General Textbook of Entomology 9th Ed. Methuen 886 pp.
- Ragge DR (1965). Grasshoppers, Crickets & Cockroaches of the British Isles. F Warne & Co, London. p. 299.
- ITIS: Acrididea (Retrieved 23/7/2017)
- Orthoptera Species File: infraorder Acrididea (Retrieved 20/7/2017)
- Flook, P. K.; Rowell, C. H. F. (1997). "The Phylogeny of the Caelifera (Insecta, Orthoptera) as Deduced from mtrRNA Gene Sequences". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 8 (1): 89–103. doi:10.1006/mpev.1997.0412. PMID 9242597.
- Uvarov BP (1966) Grasshoppers & Locusts. A Handbook of General Acridology Cambridge University Press, London 1:481 pp.
- Media related to Caelifera at Wikimedia Commons
- Data related to Caelifera at Wikispecies
- Tolweb: Caelifera
- Orthoptera Species File: Caelifera (accessed 20 July 2017)
- Palaeobiology database: Caelifera Ander 1936 (accessed 20 June 2017)
- ITIS: Caelifera (accessed 20 June 2017)
- NCBI: Caelifera (accessed 20 June 2017)