DNA barcoding represents an objective tool for fast species identification, especially for taxa for which morphological identification is difficult. One current limitation of barcoding is the lack of reference sequences for many groups. While many European and North American countries have started their own barcoding initiatives to generate complete local inventories and databases, such efforts are sparse for African, Asian and South American countries, despite their high biodiversity and comparably poorly explored faunas. Therefore, it is important to start local barcoding efforts in such countries. In this study we performed DNA barcoding for the band-winged grasshoppers of the Biskra province in Algeria, a region of high diversity for this taxon. All specimens were identified morphologically and then barcoded. We generated a total of 47 sequences of the COI gene for 22 morphologically identified species of Oedipodinae, many of which were sequenced for the first time. We present the data in a phylogenetic tree, which suggests monophyly for most genera, but rejects it for Sphingonotus and Vosseleriana. Statistical species delimitation worked well for most genera, except those within the Sphingonotini, likely because these have radiated rather recently. Together with data sourced from the literature we used our new data set to generate an updated list of band-winged grasshoppers for the region. Several species are recorded for the region and for the country for the first time. One species appears to be new to science. Furthermore, we found geographic variation within several more widespread species for which data from other countries were present. We consider the new data as an important resource for future faunistic, ecological and biodiversity studies and point out the importance of local (taxon-specific) barcoding studies.

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