Abstract Volcanic archipelagos represent excellent areas to study colonization and speciation processes. The grasshopper genus Arminda is one of many endemic taxa of the Canary Islands. It consists of seven wingless species, most of which are single-island endemics. We sequenced two mitochondrial (12s rRNA, ND5) and two nuclear gene fragments (28s rRNA, ITS2) to reconstruct the colonization pattern of the genus. Our results are in accordance with a stepping-stone colonization model from east to west, corresponding to the prevailing ocean currents, but alternative hypotheses cannot be fully rejected. The populations of A. brunneri from Tenerife belong to two different lineages (east and west) consistent with the geological history of the island. It remains to be tested whether these lineages represent different species and whether further lineages exist on this island. The five clades of the four western islands (A. brunneri group) have approximately similar branch lengths. The short internodes between these lineages resulted in a poorer phylogenetic resolution. Specimens from La Palma were genetically distinct and are subsequently described as a new species, Arminda palmae sp.n. Our results suggest in situ speciation on Gran Canaria, which was accompanied by a stronger degree of morphological diversification than the inter-island speciation processes. The aberrant species A. canariensis has formerly been assigned to a monotypic subgenus Chopardminda, which is now synonymized with Arminda syn.n. based on its phylogenetic position. Gran Canaria seems to be the only island where Arminda species occur sympatrically, although allopatric speciation seems likely due to the long history of volcanism and erosion on the island.