Friday, 13 February 2015

Addenda: Parental Care Displayed in a Katydid

My friend Martyn Robinson at the Australian Museum in Sydney noted that in the previous blog I should have recalled an observation that he made a couple of years ago on the Superb Katydid, Alectoria superba Brunner.

This is a relatively widespread katydid of arid and semi-arid portions of the Australian continent.
The Superb Katydid, Alectoria superba Brunner, male. 

This katydid is in the Phaneropterinae, the same subfamily as Polichne, the subject aforementioned blog but it is unrelated. It is characterised by the peculiar roof-like development of the pronotum.

Martyn discovered that the species lays its eggs singly on branches and covered them with chewed bits of bark.
A small branch with a covered egg of A. superba. The ends of the eggs are delimited by the lines. The little patch of missing bark may have been used by the katydid to cover the egg. The crescentic marks are leaf scales.

Thanks to Martyn for pointing this out. It is even more embarassing that the twig sits on my desk just a few inches from my microscope and I see it every day!

Ah, the exigencies of age!

1 comment:

Piotr Naskrecki said...

Fascinating. I sometimes see females of Arantia here in Mozambique clearing tiny patches of bark on twigs but I never find eggs. I wonder if the behavior of concealing eggs might be more widespread in phaneropterines than we suspect.