Saturday, 29 December 2012

Have A Green New Year

Phyllophorella queenslandica Rentz, Su, Ueshima: Tettigoniidae; Phyllophorellinae
Queensland Small Hooded Katydid

It's been a bit dry around here in recent weeks. Many of the small rainforest seedlings have succumbed and some of the larger trees are in a wilted state.

But we had a shower of some 6 mm of rain and this has certainly spruced (is this the word in a tropical rainforest!) things up a bit.

A recent trip to the Daintree region, which was also dry, revealed some nice green katydids.

The head above and the two below are the Queensland Small hooded Katydid, reported before in this blog. The unique stridulatory mechanism of the members of the this subfamily is documented in the blog and in the published paper below.

 Phyllophorella queenslandica Rentz, Su, Ueshima
Phyllophorella queenslandica Rentz, Su, Ueshima, male
 Acauloplacella hasenpuschae Rentz, Su, Ueshima, male: Tettigoniidae; Pseudphyllinae; Phyllomimini
Sue's Leaf-mimicking Katydid

Note the resting position with the tegmina and wings slightly spread concealing the soft bits. The katydid ids nocturnal and spends the day either on top, but more usually under, leaves. It is ever alert and at the slightest disturbance, the claws are embedded in the leaf and the tegmina and wings are contracted as below. This provides the katydid with a good grip and helps to prevent it from being "swiped" off the leaf by a passing bird or bat.

  Acauloplacella hasenpuschae Rentz, Su, Ueshima, male: Tettigoniidae; Pseudphyllinae; Phyllomimini
  Acauloplacella hasenpuschae Rentz, Su, Ueshima, female: Tettigoniidae; Pseudphyllinae; Phyllomimini
 Acauloplacella hasenpuschae Rentz, Su, Ueshima, female: Tettigoniidae; Pseudphyllinae; Phyllomimini
 Ducetia japonica (Thunberg): Tettigoniidae; Phaneropterinae
The Pacific Ducetia
This is a widespread species across tropical Australia. It is one of several katydids that can be found in disturbed habitats such as along rainforest margins or under powerlines that are routinely cleared and there is an abundance of new growth and grasses. It seems to be a preferred food of the predator, Hexacentrus mundurra Rentz.

 Mastigaphoides haffneri Weidner, female: Tettigoniidae; Pseudophyllinae; Simoderini
A common katydid of the rainforest understorey. It may also be in the canopy but no one has looked yet.
 Mastigaphoides haffneri Weidner, female last instar: Tettigoniidae; Pseudophyllinae; Simoderini
This species could easily be called a "Dinosaur Katydid"!
 Kurandoptera purpura Rentz, Su and Ueshima, male: Tettigoniidae; Phaneropterinae

You have seen this katydid before in this blog. It was described from Kuranda as the generic name suggests but it has a broader range, extending from near Innisfail to the Daintree region, Queensland. This is the first known record of the species from the Daintree.
Wavy-tail Caedicia flexuosa Bolivar; Tettigoniidae; Phaneropterinae

If this species is correctly identified, it has a very unusual distribution for a katydid. It was described from New Guinea as indicated in the Orthoptera Species File. No other phaneropterine has a similar distribution. But the photos seem to match up. Like so many other katydids, further investigation is warranted.
 Caedicia webberi Rentz, Su Ueshima, male: Tettigoniidae; Phaneropterinae
Webber's Caedicia

 This easily-recognised katydid has a relatively broad geographic distribution for a katydid in the tropics from Tully to Iron Range, Queensland. The bluish green colour and the series of spots on the abdomen combined with the tiny yellow spots that protrude from under the pronotum on each side and yellow on the top of the eye are not possessed by any other katydid.
 Ephippitytha kuranda Rentz, Su, Ueshima, male: Tettigoniidae; Phaneropterinae

Previously known only from Kuranda, this is the first record of the genus and species from the Daintree, Queeensland.
 Phyllium monteithi Brock and Hasenpusch: Phasmatodea; Phylliidae; Phylliinae

NOT from the Daintree, but from Kuranda. Each year a specimen or two this species is found on low vegetation. But they are always males. Someday a female...........
                                                              Biroella sp., young female; Morabidae; Biroellinae

I reported on this genus last year. It is one of the icons of the northern rainforest that most people who study grasshoppers want to find. There are few in collections because it is thought that these grasshoppers spend most of their time in the canopy. [There is a good honours study awaiting someone who may want to spend time in James Cook University's Rainforest Crane located in the Daintree, not far from where this photo was taken.]

Literature
Rentz, DCF, Su, Y-N, Ueshima, N. 2008. Studies in Australian Tettigoniidae: New Phaneropterine Katydid from Queensland Rainforests (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae; Phaneropterinae). Zootaxa 1964: 1-39.

Rentz, DCF, Su, Y-N, Ueshima, N. 2009. Studies in Australian Tettigoniidae: The Phyllophorinae (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae; Phyllophorinae). Zootaxa 2075: 55-68.

Rentz, DCF, Su, Y-N, Ueshima, N. 2010. Studies in Australian Tettigoniidae: Australian Pseudophylline katydids (Tettigoniidae; Pseudophyllinae; Phyllomomini). Zootaxa 2566: 1-20.

3 comments:

Piotr Naskrecki said...

David, you live in an entomological paradise! Happy New Year!

Mr. Smiley said...

Thanks Piotr. All the best to you and the family.
D

Paul said...

LOL! you are the MAN! - absolutely fantastic post - as always, all the best to you and yours :)