The Order Orthoptera contains a varied assemblage of insects, which are usually herbivores, but some may be predators or scavengers.
Considering the richness of the mainland Ecuador fauna, the island fauna are highly impoverished.
Colonization may have been by flight (and wind) for strong fliers such as Schistocerca, Sphingonotus, and Neoconocephalus.
Rafting is more likely for weak fliers and flightless groups, especially in the Gryllidae (Nemobiinae and Mogoplistinae).
Seventy-four percent of the endemic species are flightless. Loss of flight ability on the Galapagos has occurred in Halmenus (maybe it is a descendent from a Schistocerca locust), Closteridea, Gryllus, and Conocephalus.
Of special note is the evolution of the two species of eyeless subterranean Anurogryllus crickets. No eyed ancestor of these is known in the islands. Evolution of endemics in the Orthoptera has been relatively frequent when compared to most other insect groups.
Author: Stewart B. Peck.
Other Contributors: Fabián Bersosa, Ruth Boada, Charlotte Causton, Germania Estévez, Lilian Guzmán, Henri W. Herrera, María T. Lasso, Maria Piedad Lincango, Alejandro Mieles, E. Mockford, Renato Oquendo, Lázaro Roque-Álbelo.
Last updated: Jan. 21, 2013
Names of taxa included: 44 total (40 accepted, 4 unidentified taxon).
Origin of the taxa included: 10 accidental, 5 questionable accidental, 5 questionable native, 21 endemic, 1 indigenous, 2 questionable endemic.
Adding up the number of species in each category will not always equal the total number indicated. Some species have insufficient data to be categorized while others (e.g., category eradicated) will not be included in the total.
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