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5674 Views 8 Replies Last post: Jun 11, 2012 8:36 AM by Liz RSS
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Aug 13, 2011 9:00 AM

South African Bugs

I inadvertently marked my last post as answered, but in fact only one of the four bugs had been identified. I'm therefore re-posting the 3 remaining ones and hope someone can help.


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    Aug 13, 2011 10:55 AM (in response to Liz)
    Re: South African Bugs
    The middle one may be Zabalius aridus (though there is another Zabalius species - apicalis). Sorry can't help with others
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    Jan 30, 2012 10:48 AM (in response to Liz)
    Re: South African Bugs

    First image (the green grasshopper) is a female Bush hopper (Euschmidtiidae), and I think that within this family and region, the pale cheek stripe makes it Amatonga sp. So far as I can tell, there are only two species of Amatonga, but the only images I can find are very old, discoloured specimens of Amatonga inhacae (on the Orthoptera species file). These [the discoloured museum specimens] seem to have a distinct red line down the back, so I would lean instead towards A. spikata, but don't really know at all.


    Hope this is helpful.

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        Jan 31, 2012 12:43 AM (in response to Liz)
        Re: South African Bugs

        [Pre-amble] So I'm still sure about the family, but not so sure about genus now... looking through Orthoptera.speciesfile's related species in the region, we can rule out Symbellia stigmatica, S. conspersa and probably S. citrea (not pictured) on the basis of wrong shape, and also clearly no cheekstripe. However, the shape of Pseudamatonga, particularly P. elongata, and its markings, looks more convincing than Amatonga, and it also has the cheekstripe.  By imagining the specimen before it dried out and turned an uninspiring brown, I would suggest that this P. elongata is the most likely candidate...

        However, the field guide linked to below states that eight species of Euschmidtiidae are known from the region, while the faunal list on Orthoptera.speciesfile shows only five (although the site does warn of incomplete distributions). Adding to this the two Amatonga still only gives seven species, which means that one wildcard remains completely unchecked...[Pre-amble over]


        Probably Best to Start Here:


        I've looked again and changed my mind about the genus (I was wrong about the cheekstripe being diagnostic) but my new favourite is still based on a discoloured museum specimen, and my speculation is limited to seven of the eight species known from the region.


        The new favourite is a female Pseudamatonga elongata, a time-worn museum specimen pictured here:


        The colouring on Zimbabwe's P. strigiligata looks closer, and it is a good candidate for occurring in SA - pictured here:

        I'm not sold on the shape of this species, though, and can't say whether the better colour is just a more recent specimen.


        As I said before, I don't know much about this, so I can't say whether I'm barking up the wrong tree completely.



        Hope this helps.



        For further information on this family in and around South Africa:


        There's a brief description of the family in Picker, Griffiths and Weaving's Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, shown here:



        with a picture of Amatonga sp. on the next page.


        You can search for orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets and co.) faunal lists here:


        (and then scroll down to Euschmidtiidae and follow the links)


        Message was edited by: Will van Niekerk

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    Jun 10, 2012 4:03 PM (in response to Liz)
    Re: South African Bugs

    Phew! I happened on this page and have only now succeeded in logging in. Let's see.


    Your number 4, the Count Dracula on the cistern ball, looks to me like a so-called Bark Katydid. There are several species and I only ever have seen one, and by accident at that. They are the most incredibly camouflaged creatures. on bark or lichen, depending on species. The only genus I know is Cymatomera. If you google it you will as usual see a lot of nonsense that looks nothing like Cymatomera, but also some very nice pics. Good luck with them!


    OK, I don't know what is going on here, can't see the others, so I'll cut this short, leave, and try again.





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