Close-up we can see the beak that the emesine uses to inject its prey with chemicals to both anesthetize it and then later digest it. The hairs and colour help protect it as it lies in wait for a victim.
Recently my friend Peter Shanahan brought over an odd katydid that had flown into his living room. It turns out to be a species I described in own of my monographs years ago. I had found it in Kuranda but not since 2005 and did not have a photo of it to include in my recent Guidebook to Australian Katydids. Fortunately it can be viewed on this blog. Its name is Zaprochilus mongabarra Rentz. It is known from a handful of localities from north coastal New South Wales to Kuranda. This species was noted in a blog previously with regard to its relative Anthophiloptera dryas and other members of the Zaprochilinae. Recently a specimen of the latter was brought around by a friend. So it has been a good year for seeing some of these odd katydids. The cryptic posture disguises the katydid during the day when it is inactive.
This is the specimen that appeared at my lights a day after Peter found his. It has more green in its colour pattern.
A close-up view shows its two hearing organs. The hole beneath the pronotum is called the thoracic auditory organ and the slit visible on the far foreleg is called the tibial auditory organ. The mouthparts of all katydids of the Zaprochilinae are prognathous, that is, they are developed forward. This allows the katydids to delve deep into flowers to obtain pollen and nectar.
The mouthparts of Anthophiloptera dryas are similarly prognathous, an an adaptation to flower feeding.
Meet a mantispid. Not from one of the many outer space movies, this one is real. It resembles a mantis or a wasp but is neither. It's a member of the Neuroptera family Mantispidae. The fact that the forelegs resemble those of a mantis is a matter of pure convergence. Mantispids are not related to mantids. They are spider parasites and have elaborate biologies that are quite complicated. The mantispid larva enters the egg sac of the spider either by riding on the female spider and waiting for the egg sac to appear or by searching directly for the eggs. Some larval mantispids are known to produce chemicals that retard the development of the spider to coincide with their own development. The parasite forms a pupa within the egg sac of the spider and eventually emerges. This is probably a species of Euclimaciella.
This dorsal view shows how much it resembles a Polistes wasp.