Entomology, Department of


Date of this Version



Science v. 21, no. 527 (March 10, 1893), p. 133.


One of the many features that have been noted in the study of our North American locusts during the past ten or a dozen years is the color-variation of the wings of the different species of lo-custs of the sub-family Œdipodinæ. As all students know who have had anything to do with these insects, some have yellow, others orange, still others red, and a very few have their wings blue. While this is true, perhaps it has not been generally noted that the presence or absence of humidity seems to have some influence upon these color-variations in the different representatives of this group that are to be met with throughout the country. That such must be the case, I think there can be no doubt. But little investigation is necessary to show that along the Atlantic slopes and even in the interior of the continent as far westward as the eastern edge of the great plains, red or orange is the characteristic color. On the plains and in other arid districts of the west and southwest the red and orange give place almost entirely to yellow. In the mountains red reappears, while at a certain elevation and under peculiar conditions blue takes the place of both. In some species we find both red- and yellow-winged individuals. There are also those in which yellow- and blue-winged individuals occur. Nor are these wing-color variations confined strictly to special genera. We find both the red and yellow appearing in species of Arphia, Hippiscus, Derotmema, Trachyrhachis, Psinidia, Lactista, Tomonotus, Dissosteira, etc.; while the blue and yellow are common to representatives of Leprus and Trimerotropis.

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