Oncodopus saussurei, Ünal, Mustafa & Beccaloni, George W., 2017

Ünal, Mustafa & Beccaloni, George W., 2017, Revision of the Madagascan genera Oncodopus Brongniart and Colossopus Saussure (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Conocephalinae; Euconchophorini), with description of Malagasopus gen. nov., Zootaxa 4341 (2): 204-205

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Oncodopus saussurei

sp. nov.

Oncodopus saussurei  sp. nov.

( Figs. 40–49View FIGURES 40 – 49, 110View FIGURES 109 – 111, 117View FIGURES 112 – 119)

http://lsid.speciesfile.org/urn:lsid: Orthoptera  .speciesfile.org:TaxonName:499687

Type locality. Madagascar, Fianarantsoa Prov., South of Ambohimahasoa. Holotype male ( NHMUK). 

Description. Male (Holotype): Body size smallest in the genus ( Tab. 2). Fastigium of vertex ( Figs. 40, 41View FIGURES 40 – 49) simple, almost conical, forming a short horn, upper surface flattened without furrow, twice as long as eye diameter, its basal part 1.5 times wider than antennal scape, its apex slightly downcurved. Fastigium of frons ( Fig. 41View FIGURES 40 – 49) with a spiniform tooth. Face flattened, with few indistinct tubercles, with 2 distinct teeth. Pronotum ( Figs. 40, 41View FIGURES 40 – 49) slightly longer than wide, 3.8 times longer than its height and 1.1 times longer than its width; anterior margin convex, posterior margin slightly concave; metazona long, only 1.4 times shorter than prozona in middle; pronotum strongly concave in lateral view. Prothoracic auditory spiracle small almost triangular, only a small part visible in lateral view. Mesothoracic auricle small, its inner gap oval, lacking ventral lobe. Prosternum with 2 short, U-shaped spines, almost parallel, not reaching to level of ventral margin of fore coxa. Fore coxa with a short spine projecting forward. Fore femur ( Fig. 40View FIGURES 40 – 49) with a large inner spine on anterio-lateral margin; with 5 ventral spines on inner margin (other males have 3–5 spines). Fore tibia ( Fig. 40View FIGURES 40 – 49) with 4 inner and 4 outer spines ventrally. Mid femur with 1 outer spine ventrally (some males lack this spine). Hind femur without spines. Hind tibia with 2–4 dorsal spines on inner margin (other males have 3–5 spines); 4 apical spurs ventrally, inner two slightly smaller than outer ones. Tegmina ( Figs. 40, 41View FIGURES 40 – 49) fully concealed under pronotum, reaching to mid point of metanotum. Last abdominal tergite ( Fig. 43View FIGURES 40 – 49) very short and wide, its posterior margin slightly concave, without notch or incision. Cercus ( Fig. 44View FIGURES 40 – 49) short, apical part rounded, with an incurved apical tooth; with 2 inner arms, upper one very short, pointed with a tooth; lower one longer and pointed with a tooth. Subgenital plate ( Fig. 45View FIGURES 40 – 49) slightly longer than wide, its styli broad and longer than depth of posterior incision.

Female: Head as in male. Pronotum ( Figs. 46, 47View FIGURES 40 – 49) 1.2 times wider than long and 2.7 times longer than its width; posterior margin strongly concave; prozona 3.5 times longer than metazona. Ventral half of prothoracic auditory spiracle visible in lateral view. Fore femur ( Fig. 46View FIGURES 40 – 49) with 3–6 ventral spines on inner margin. Mid and hind femora without or with 1–2 ventral spines on outer margin. Hind tibia with 3–5 dorsal spines on inner margin. Spines of prosternum reaching to level of ventral margin of fore coxa, in some specimens a little shorter. Tegmina ( Fig. 47View FIGURES 40 – 49) strongly reduced, scale like laterally, not reaching to half of mesonotum, largely concealed under pronotum. Last tergite short and wide, its posterior margin convex, without median incision. Subgenital plate ( Fig. 49View FIGURES 40 – 49) triangular, with a median carina, posterior margin with a small incision. Cercus triangular, slightly incurved, pointed at apex with an indistinct spine. Ovipositor ( Fig. 48View FIGURES 40 – 49) longer than hind femur, slightly upcurved.

Colour (dry specimens). Body various shades of greenish brown, black and yellowish brown. Face brown in male, blackish brown in female. Dorsal surface of head greenish brown with irregular black pattern. Pronotum greenish brown, with short longitudinal black stripes. Fore femur and tibia milky yellowish brown; dorsal surface of fore femur with distinct black spots, ventral surface completely black including spines; fore tibial spines black. Mid femur as fore femur. Hind femur dark apically, basal part with dark spots. Anterior part of each abdominal tergite except last 2–3 ones with black transverse band on both sides, not touching in middle, behind it with a faint band; hind margin of abdominal tergites completely black. All sternites, male cercus and subgenital plate unicolorous milky brown. Female subgenital plate with a black macula in middle. Ovipositor milky brown at base, remaining part dark with black or brownish black.

Diagnosis. This species is the smallest member of the genus. It is unique in the shape of the male pronotum and cercus, the last tergite in both sexes, the ovipositor and colouration. It appears to be most closely related to O. soalalaensis  sp. nov. judging by the shape of posterior margin of pronotum and the last tergite of the male, the tridentate male cercus and its small body size. It differs from it by the general structure of pronotum in both sexes, the male cercus, the fore tibia with 4 ventral spines on both sides ( O. soalalaensis  has 5 spines), the shape of its shorter ovipositor, its colouration and its distribution.

Material examined. Madagascar, Fianarantsoa Prov., beside R.N. 7 south of Ambohimahasoa , (c. -21.17, 47.25) [21 ° 17' S, 47 ° 25' E], 13.11.2004, Coll. G.W. Beccaloni, 1 male (Holotype)GoogleMaps  , 1 female, under a stone; Antananarivo, (-18.92, 47.52) [18 ° 55'12'' S, 47 ° 31'12'' E], on R.N. 7 to the south of the city, 12.11.2004, Coll. G.W. Beccaloni, 2 females, under a stone, (all in NHMUK). Madagascar, Pic de Ivohibe, 2200 mGoogleMaps  , 8.11.1950, 3 males, 1 female, 1 female nymph (leg. A.R.); Madagascar-centre, Plateau Soaindrana, 2090 m, Andringitra-Ambalavao , 15.1.1958, 1 female (leg. R. Paulian); Andringitra centre, plat. Andohariana, 2000–2100 m  , 9.11– 10.12.1970, 1 female (all in MNHN).

Measurements (mm). Holotype (male): Body length: 30.9; pronotum length: 9.5; width of pronotum: 8.2; fore femur length: 7.9; width of fore femur: 3.6; fore tibia length: 7.5; hind femur length: 9.9. See Table 2 for the range of measurement of the other specimens including females.

Etymology. This species name is dedicated to Henri Louis Frédéric de Saussure, who was the second person to study these insects (in 1899). Saussure is the author of the genus Colossopus  and the species C. grandidieri  .

Distribution. Central and south-central Madagascar ( Fig. 110View FIGURES 109 – 111). Antananarivo Province: Antananarivo, Soavinandriana. Fianarantsoa Province: Ambohimahasoa, Andringitra, Ambalavao, Ivohibe.

Habitat. This species occurs in seasonally dry habitats on the Central Plateau of Madagascar which are largely grassland today but which were probably sclerophyllous woodland in the past. It is known to occur up to 2200 metres—the highest altitude of any species in this group. It has been found under stones.

Phenology. Adults have been found between November and January and one nymph (instar unknown) in November.


Natural History Museum, London