Comments on the Malaysian Katydid Ancylecha fenestrata (Fabricius, 1793) (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2013
Authors:Greven, H, Braatz, S, Schulten, D
Journal:Entomologie heute
Start Page:57
Keywords:Ancylecha fenestrata, aposematism, chorion structure, reproduction, site of oviposition, stridulatory apparatus

Ancylecha fenestrata is a rather large phaneropterine tettigoniid from Malaysia with leaf-like tegmina that are characterized by two crescent-like markings. This species is often raised in captivity, but publications about its biology are rare. Searching the internet we found several plants accepted for oviposition, but not for feeding. These plants have relatively fl eshy and leathery leaves and contain various substances (e. g. saponins, oxalic acid, speci fi c glucosides etc.) often harmful at least to verte- brates. Only a few plants appear to be used for both, egg deposition and feeding. Whether this is a strategy pursued by A. fenestrata in the wild, is unkown. Females oserved by us inserted up to 13 large kidney-shaped eggs (per leaf) in the leaf parenchyma of the Spotted Dracaena Dracaena surculosa often used for breeding. The chorion of the egg is composed of a thin, delicate outer layer that apparently forms a close association with the walls of the parenchyma cells of the leaf, followed by a broader spongy layer, a relatively thick and solid layer with dilatations (air spaces) connected by fi ne pore canals that also open out in the large spaces of the spongy layer, and a very thin basal layer. At temperatures of 22 to 25 °C and relatively high humidities, nymphs hatch within 70 days on average. The fi rst nym- phal instars are strikingly multicoloured. In the resting position, in which the forelegs are extended forwards, the hind legs backwards, and the long antennae are hidden under the abdomen, they resem- ble spiders. Males and females of A. fenestrata produce sounds by tegminal stridulation. Stridulatory organs are sexually dimorphic. As typical for many tettigoniids, males possess a strongly sclerotized fi le with “teeth” ( pars stridens ) on the underside of the left tegmen base and on the upper surface a scraper ( plectrum ) near to the so-called mirror. Females lack a mirror possessing several small fi les with laterally cuspidate teeth on the upper surface of the right tegmen, whereas the underside of the left tegmen is not conspicuously modi fi ed. When disturbed, both sexes produce alarm or defence sounds.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith