Gwynnagraecia viridis Rentz, Su and Ueshima

Rentz, Dcf, Su, You Ning & Ueshima, Norihiro, 2021, Studies in Australian Tettigoniidae: New short-winged Agraeciini from Australia (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae; Conocephalinae; Agraeciini), Zootaxa 5059 (2), pp. 1-72: 20-21

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Gwynnagraecia viridis Rentz, Su and Ueshima

Gen. et Sp. Nov.

Gwynnagraecia viridis Rentz, Su and Ueshima   Gen. et Sp. Nov.

ANIC Number Gen Nov. 9, sp. 5

( Figs 10 View FIG A-N; Fig. 20E View FIG ; Table 3, Map 5)

Common name. Gwynne’s Green Katydid

Holotype male. 1. “Busselton (Queen Elizabeth Rd) W. A. 17 January 1984 D. T. Gwynne”. 2. “Specimen recorded Animal #1”. 3. “Specimen photographed”. 4. “ ANIC database #14008750”   . Holotype in Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra. Specimens examined. Paratypes. Western Australia. 33 o 52’S 115 o 43’E 12 km NNW of Nannup , 15.ii.1980 (DCF Rentz, Stop 59, 1 male, Cytol. prep. 80-88; 1 female, ANIC). Ca GoogleMaps   . 33 o 41.114’S 115 o 19.613’E Queen Elizabeth Ave , 12.i.1985 (DT Gwynne, 1 male, ANIC) GoogleMaps   . Fitzgerald River Nat. Park , 23.i.1986 (WJ Bailey, 2 males, ANIC)   . 32 o 05’S 116 o 08’E Kerragullen, Illawarra Rd. , 30.x.1990 DCF Rentz, YN Su, Stop 154, 2 males, ANIC GoogleMaps   ). 33 o 23’S 116 o 16’E 11 km E. by S. of Collie , 24.i.1991 (DCF Rentz, N. Wedell, K. McCarron, Stop 30, 1 male, ANIC) GoogleMaps   .

Type locality. The type locality was typical coastal heath with scatter tall eucalypts. It seemed susceptible to development.

Differential Diagnosis. Overall body shape robust and small ( Table 3). Colour of the few specimens at hand is uniform except most have faded due to dry preservation. The sulcus on the fastigium of the vertex is minute and short. Antennal scape very broad and with a dorsal flange ( Fig. 10B View FIG ); pedicel not especially modified; flagellum not annulate ( Fig. 10A View FIG ). Male cercus distinctive ( Fig.10N View FIG ); tenth tergite with elongate projection, modified apically ( Figs 10I, N View FIG ); subgenital plate ( Fig. 10H View FIG ) narrowing apically, styles elongate; titillator ( Fig. 10M View FIG ) without any sclerotised parts. Female (n=1) with tenth tergite unmodified; cercus rather prominent, stout; subgenital plate triangular, elongate, apex acute, without median carina. Ovipositor elongate, very feebly upcurved, unarmed.

Head. Head not strongly slanting; frons smooth, shining ( Fig. 10A View FIG ); fastigium of vertex very short, with minute sulcus ( Fig. 10B View FIG ); eye very large for size of head ( Fig. 10C View FIG ); median ocellus small, positioned at base of triangular frontal fastigium ( Fig. 10C View FIG ), lateral ocelli absent.

Thorax. Pronotum with surface smooth, shining ( Figs 10D View FIG ); lateral lobe shallow ( Fig. 10A View FIG ) not concealing thoracic auditory structure; anterior margin of disk straight to feebly concave ( Fig. 10D View FIG ), posterior margin truncate. Thoracic auditory structure small, ovoid, not hidden be pronotum. Prothorax with elongate spines, meso- and metathorax each with tubercles.

Legs. Legs of normal length. Fore coxa bearing an elongate spine. All femora clothed with dark setae dorsally ( Figs 10 View FIG J-K), ventral surface unarmed on both margins; fore tibia short, slightly swollen apically, dorsal surface unarmed, ventral margin with 6 spines on both margins, the distal two much smaller than the others; middle tibia cylindrical. but slightly swollen, dorsal surface armed on posterior margin with 2 spines positioned at the extremities of the middle third, ventral surface armed similarly to fore tibia. Hind tibia armed apically with a pair of dorsal and ventral spurs. Genicular lobes unarmed.

Tegmina. Tegmina delicate, surface clothed with sparse, dark brown setae and feebly sclerotised ( Figs 10F, G View FIG ) 12 Named with reference to the bright green colour of the katydids in life.

venation reduced but with two prominent elongate veins; stridulatory file ( Fig. 20E View FIG ) very short, appearing swollen; mirror poorly defined and without any internal venation.

Abdomen. Tenth tergite ( Figs 10I, N View FIG ) with extraordinary lateral extensions, apically modified. Cercus simple but fairly large, without internal armature. Phallic complex without any sclerotised portions ( Fig. 10M View FIG ).

Female. Differs from male in following characters. Size slightly larger ( Table 3); tegmina apparently absent or wholly concealed beneath pronotum. Tenth tergite unmodified; cercus straight but stout. Ovipositor very elongate ( Table 3), gracefully, feebly upcurved, without armature.

Colouration. Most specimens faded to straw brown. In life bright green ( Fig. 10A View FIG ). Eye in life distinctive, dorsal border creamish white, reminder grey, except ventral margin with narrow creamish white band. Body sparsely clothed in stout brown setae.

Distribution. Known only from a few localities in ( Fig. 1C, H View FIG ), Western Australia (Map 5).

Habitat. Uncommon and very quick to escape from open, sparsely wooded areas often with many shrubs and herbs.

Seasonal occurrence. Occurs as adults from spring into early summer.

Stridulatory file ( Fig. 20E View FIG ). A male from the Kerragullen site has 21 teeth, relatively widely spaced at proximal end. An additional male from Fitzgerald River National Park has 21 widely spaced teeth.

Song. Unfortunately, the sound recordings of this species have been lost.

Comments. This is the smallest known agraeciine katydid from Australia. Small size seems to be a characteristic with some Western Australia tettigoniids. Several members of the Tettigoniinae   are amongst the smallest in the world (Rentz, 1985) and members of the Microtettigoniinae   are the smallest katydids in the world, several which occur in south-western Western Australia. See Rentz (2001).

Gwynnagraecia viridis   has distinctive elongate extensions of the tenth tergite. No other known genus of Australian Agraeciini   displays such characteristics. We were only able to examine a single female which is slightly damaged. It does not seem to have any obvious pockets into which the male prong-like extensions could fit.

The males from Fitzgerald River are placed here with some reservation. They are not green but bare the typical colour and pattern of Australiagraecia species.   They possess the morphological characters described above, so they are included here. They exemplify the unusual convergence of characters that we have observed in these genera. We illustrate habitats where we expect this species to occur ( Figs 1C, H View FIG )

G. viridis   occurs on or near the ground in heath habitats. It seems equally active day and night. It is extremely wary and jumps repeatedly when disturbed.


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics


Australian National Insect Collection