Tuesday, 4 July 2017

An Unexpected Visitor

Ozphyllum kuranda Rentz, Su, Ueshima, adult female

It is the beginning of "winter" (the dry season!) here in the Australian tropics. Most of the summer, or wet season species, seem to have gone to their reward so it was a surprise when this female katydid showed up at the light a few weeks ago. I would have thought her time was well and truly up weeks ago.
Ozphyllum was described to include two species, this one from the coastal Queensland rainforest from about Bundaberg to Cairns but not including the Atherton Tableland. The other, O. naskrecki Rentz, Su, Ueshima, occurs along the coast from just north of Brisbane south to just north of Coff's Harbour, New South Wales.

Ozphyllum seems to be most closely related to Cosmophyllum from Chile. This deduction needs further confirmation as it could just be a matter of convergence. The katydids appear to be quite clumsy and prefer to hop to escape danger rather than to fly. Ozphyllum is unique in the Australian katydid fauna in that no other genus looks at all like it. Males sing in late afternoon from perches in understorey shrubs. 

No end to the surprising Australian insect fauna. 
 Ozphyllum kuranda Rentz, Su, Ueshima, adult female
                                        Ozphyllum kuranda Rentz, Su, Ueshima, adult female

To see a male, go to:

Rentz, DCF, Su, YN, Ueshima, N. 2007. Studies in Australian Tettigoniidae: Ozphyllum, a new genus of Phaneropterine katydids with comments on its relationships and ecology. (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae; Phaneropterinae). Zootaxa, 1629: 57-68. 

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