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1 December 2012 The Scientific Names of Two Common Florida Crickets (Orthoptera, Gryllidae)
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Cyrtoxipha gundlachi and Orocharis gryllodes are two common, well-studied Florida crickets whose scientific names are in doubt. We determine that C. gundlachi Saussure (1874) may retain its name and designate a neotype to stabilize that interpretation. We find that Cyrtoxipha orientalis Desutter-Grandcolas (2003) is a valid species rather than a junior synonym of Cyrtoxipha gundlachi sensu Otte & Perez-Gelabert (2009) and that the Jamaican species C. clarki Otte & Perez-Gelabert (2009) is a close relative of C. gundlachi. Finally, we determine that the Florida species formerly known as O. gryllodes (Pallas 1772) is now Antillicharis oriobates Otte & Perez-Gelabert (2009).

Walker (1969a, 1969b), in revisions of U.S. species of Cyrtoxipha (Trigonidiinae) and Orocharis (Eneopterinae), described 2 new U.S. species of Cyrtoxipha and 4 new species of Orocharis, all of which occur in or are restricted to Florida. Because C. gundlachi and O. gryllodes were the oldest U. S. species in their genera (1874 and 1772, respectively) and both had type localities in the Caribbean, TW researched these 2 names carefully in an effort to assign them to the Florida species that were most likely deserving of them.

In 2009, Otte & Perez-Gelabert (2009) published “Caribbean Crickets”, a 792-page monograph that described more than 500 new species and many new higher categories. Its treatments of gundlachi and gryllodes and its description of a new Florida species of Antillicharis brought into question whether the names assigned in 1969 to these 2 Florida species were still appropriate.


Saussure (1874) described gundlachi from 7 specimens, 6 from Cuba and 1 from the southern United States. Walker (1969b) examined the 5 extant syntypes (all from Cuba) and discovered that Saussure had more than 1 species in his type-series and only 2 of the 7 specimens were indistinguishable from gundlachi (sensu Walker 1969b). In his revision, TW did not designate either of these syntypes as the lectotype. Instead he pointed out that future workers might discover better means of identification and find that the lectotype he had designated did not belong to gundlachi sensu Walker 1969b; and that so long as even 1 of Saussure's 7 syntypes was missing there would be no problem in preserving the usage of gundlachi that he was proposing.

Otte & Perez-Gelabert (2009) did not cite Walker's paper and based their treatment of Cyrtoxipha gundlachi (p. 144) on a male “exemplar” from Dominican Republic. They selected their exemplar based on illustrations of the genitalia of C. gundlachi in a paper by Desutter-Grandcolas (1987) on the structure and evolution of the male genitalia of crickets. They noted that the genitalic similarities between their exemplar and those of the holotype of C. orientalis Bland & Desutter-Grandcolas 2003 were so great that they made C. orientalis a synonym of their C. gundlachi. The genitalia illustrated by Desutter-Grandcolas and Otte & Perez-Gelabert (2009; Fig. 147 and 148) are clearly distinct from those of Walker's C. gundlachi (1969b, Fig. 11). We therefore consider Cyrtoxipha orientalis Bland & Desutter-Grandcolas 2003 (= C. gundlachi sensu Otte & Perez-Gelabert 2009) a valid species.

As mentioned above, 1 of the 2 missing syntypes of gundlachi was from southern United States. In the interest of making the name gundlachi apply to a well-studied species already known by that name, we assume that the U.S. syntype was of the taxon C. gundlachi sensu Walker 1969 and designate a song-recorded male from Dade County, Florida, as neotype. Other label data of the neotype are “27 Apr 1963, T. J. Walker & J. D. Spooner, Coll#2, Song Recorded, 621–8.” The specimen is in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods. Its song is archived by the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds, Cornell University, as #119852 and can be downloaded at Fig. 1A and 1B show the lateral aspects of the right and left lophi of the neotype. These exhibit the same asymmetry and identifying features as shown in Walker (1969b, Fig. 11).

Note on a Close Relative of Cyrtoxipha gundlachi

During the preparation of this paper, DF compared the genitalia of C. gundlachi, shown in dorsal view in Fig. 1C, with those of other Cyrtoxipha species in Otte & Perez-Gelabert's Caribbean Crickets. He found genitalia resembling those of C. gundlachi in only 2 of the 24 species—viz., C. aguanueva from Hispanola and C. clarki from Jamaica. TW was a collector of the specimens from which C. clarki was described and, at the time, he considered the songs of those males to be so similar to the songs of C. gundlachi in Florida that he thought the 2 taxa might be conspecific. He therefore recorded the songs of 14 Jamaican individuals and counted the file teeth of those males that he could capture. Analysis of the recordings revealed that the 2 taxa chirped at similar rates (2–3 chirps/s) but the pulse rate within the chirps, at 25 °C, was ca. 25 p/s for the Jamaica taxon, whereas for the Florida one, it was ca. 19 p/s. The number of teeth in the stridulatory file of 4 males from Jamaica ranged from 163 to 181 (mean = 171). In 10 Florida males the range was 186–193 (mean= 192) (Walker 1969a). These results convinced TW that the Jamaican taxon should be classified as a species distinct from the similar one he knew as C. gundlachi in Florida.

Fig. 1.

Male genitalia of Cyrtoxipha gundlachi from south Florida. A and B. Left and right lophus of neotype male. In each of these two images the contralateral lophus can be seen out-of-focus behind the lophus in the foreground. C. Dorsal view of genitalia, male from Long Pine Key, Everglades National Park. (Photographs by DF.)



When Walker (1969a) revised North American Orocharis, 2 of the 6 species he recognized already had long-used specific names. In attempting to determine if these long-used names were correctly applied, he learned that none of the European museums that he had been advised might have the type of Gryllus gryllodes Pallas could locate it. However, he did find that Pallas (1772), in describing gryllodes, had included a drawing of the holotypic male and that the drawing matched the US species that was known as Orocharis gryllodes and was not similar to the other 5 U.S. Orocharis.

The publication of “Caribbean Crickets” (Otte & Perez-Gelabert 2009) made it clear that the gryllodes that Walker had studied along the coasts of the Florida peninsula might no longer be an Orocharis. On the basis of genitalic differences, Otte 6 Perez-Gelabert (2009) elevated Orocharis to the Orocharis group of the tribe Hapithini and placed 7 genera in that group, 5 of which were new. They also described a new species of Florida eneopterine as Antillicharis oriobates sp. nov. When DF compared the genitalia of a Monroe County, Florida, specimen that he had identified as Orocharis gryllodes (Fig. 2), he could not distinguish them from those of the holotype of A. oriobates. Later DF examined specimens that TW had collected in Levy and Martin Counties (on opposite coasts of Florida) and again found no way to distinguish them from A. oriobates. We therefore conclude that the specimens Walker (1969a) identified as O. gryllodes are now Antillicharis oriobates.

Fig. 2.

Three views of the genitalia of a male from Flamingo, Florida, that had been identified as Orocharis gryllodes based on Walker (1969a). Comparison with Fig. 172 in Otte and Perez-Gelabert (2009) shows that these genitalia match those of Antillicharis (Fig. 172H) and not those of Orocharis (Fig. 172A). (Photographs by DF.)


The above does not allow the placement of gryllodes Pallas in any of the 7 genera that now make up Otte & Perez-Gelabert's Orocharis group. Because Pallas's holotype is lost, a male neotype from the type locality (Jamaica) with dissected genitalia should be designated to give gryllodes a generic home. With help from Dan Otte, TW is preparing to do that.


We thank Dan Otte, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, for help with taxonomy, nomenclature, and access to specimens.



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Thomas J. Walker and David H. Funk "The Scientific Names of Two Common Florida Crickets (Orthoptera, Gryllidae)," Florida Entomologist 95(4), 936-938, (1 December 2012).
Published: 1 December 2012

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