Neduba castanea ( Scudder, 1899 )

Cole, Jeffrey A., Weissman, David B., Lightfoot, David C., Ueshima, Norihiro, Warchałowska-Śliwa, Elżbieta, Maryańska-Nadachowska, Anna & Chatfield-Taylor, Will, 2021, A revision of the shield-back katydid genus Neduba (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Tettigoniinae: Nedubini), Zootaxa 4910 (1), pp. 1-92: 49-52

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Neduba castanea ( Scudder, 1899 )


Neduba castanea ( Scudder, 1899)  

Fig. 19 View FIGURE 19 (distribution), Fig. 21 View FIGURE 21 (male and female habitus, calling song, drumming, male and female tremulation karyotype), Plate 2 View PLATE 2 B–C (live habitus), Plate 5A View PLATE 5 (male calling song), Plate 7I View PLATE 7 (male ventral sclerite), Plate 10B View PLATE 10 (male titillators), Plate 11K View PLATE 11 (female subgenital plate).

Common name. Chestnut Shieldback.

History of recognition. Scudder (1899) described Tropizaspis castanea   from Los Angeles County, California. Caudell (1907) transferred this species to Aglaothorax   based on habitus, in particular the pronotal shape, but the species was moved to Neduba   once the male genitalia were examined ( Rentz 1988; Rentz & Birchim 1968). Our fieldwork shows that N. castanea   is the only Neduba   species found in mainland Los Angeles County (i.e. exclusive of the Channel Islands), where it is limited to the fringes of the Mojave Desert.

Type material. The holotype male is housed at ANSP   . Images of the type are available at OSFO ( Cigliano et al. 2020). PARATYPE (n = 1): USA, CA   , Los Angeles Co., 1♀, Los Angeles Co. , VII, Coquillett, USNM   ; TOPOTYPES EXAMINED (n = 26)   : USA, CA   , Los Angeles Co., 2♁, County road N4 near Llano , 34.505828N, 117.817841W, 1280 m, 6-VIII-1988, DB Weissman & DC Lightfoot, CAS GoogleMaps   ; 1♁, County Road N6, 2 mi. NW of Devil’s Punchbowl , 34.4267N, 117.8697W, 1250 m, 6-VIII-1988, DB Weissman & DC Lightfoot, CAS GoogleMaps   ; 1♁, Devil’s Punchbowl County Park, 34.4138N, 117.8587W, 1445 m, 17-VIII-1982, DB Weissman, CAS GoogleMaps   ; 1♁, Devil’s Punchbowl County Park , 34.4138N, 117.8587W, 1445 m, 30-VIII-1975, PH Sullivan, CAS GoogleMaps   ; 1♁, Devil’s Punchbowl Road 1 mi. NW of Devil’s Punchbowl, 34.42382N, 117.86816W, 1341 m, 20-VI-2018, JA Cole, JAC GoogleMaps   ; 1♁, Juniper Hills, Devil’s Punchbowl Road ( County Road N6), 2 miles east of Longview Road , 34.4267N, 117.8697W, 1316 m, 2005, JA Cole, LACM GoogleMaps   ; 3♁, 1♀ nymph, same data except 13-VI-2003, JA Cole, JN Hogue, LACM GoogleMaps   ; 1♁, same data except JAC GoogleMaps   ; 2♁, same data except 14-VI-2015, JA Cole, GE Bell, T GoogleMaps   Farwell , LACM   ; 1♁, same data except JAC   ; 2♁, same data except 14-VI-2017, JA Cole, LACM   ; 3♁, 1♀, same data except 18-VI-2008, JA Cole, LACM   ; 1♀ nymph, same data except 20-VI-2003, JA Cole, JN Hogue, LACM   ; 1♁, same data except 7-VII-2004, JA Cole, LACM   ; 1♁, 1♀, Largo Vista Rd. ( county Road N4), 1 mi. S of Fort Tejon Rd., 34.4530N, 117.7649W, 1277 m, 22-VI-2008, JA Cole, LACM GoogleMaps   ; 1♀, same data except 22-VI-2008, JA Cole, JAC GoogleMaps   .

Measurements. (mm, ♁n = 14, ♀ n = 6) Hind femur ♁16.99–21.20, ♀ 18.50–23.87, pronotum total length ♁9.90–13.20, ♀ 10.08–13.20, prozona length ♁3.84–5.69, ♀ 4.83–6.92, metazona dorsal length ♁5.60–8.67 ♀ 4.72– 6.76, pronotum constriction width ♁2.70–3.68, ♀ 2.95–3.85, metazona dorsal width ♁7.24–8.49 ♀ 6.75–8.25, head width ♁4.94– 5.85, ♀ 5.05–6.81, ovipositor length ♀ 14.92–20.25.

Habitat. Pinyon-juniper ( Juniperus   spp.- Pinus monophylla Torr & Frém.   ), Joshua tree ( Yucca brevifolia Engelm.   ) woodlands, Ceanothus   scrub, and yellow pine forest. Specimens were taken from pinyon pine, juniper, mountain mahogany ( Cercocarpus   sp.), and Joshua tree.

Distribution. Dry north slope of Transverse Ranges of California including the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, Liebre, and San Emigdio Mountains.

Seasonal occurrence. Adult specimens have been taken from mid-June in foothill regions (13-VI-2003, JA Cole & JN Hogue, LACM) into September at high elevation (12-IX-2015, DA Gray, CAS). Females were last instar nymphs at the earliest date of occurrence listed above.

Stridulatory file. (n = 5), length 3.7–4.6 mm, 79–99 teeth, tooth density 21.6 ± 1.1 (19.8–22.7) teeth/mm.

Song. (n = 24) A continuous series of long MPTL (373.1 ± 51.5 ms) with widely spaced toothstrikes delivered at PTR of 2.6 ± 0.7 s- 1. The sound resembles a finger running along the teeth of a comb. The PTF of 13.7 ± 2.1 kHz extends comfortably into the audible range. There is a significant high frequency component, however, with 18.7 kHz PTF measured in one high frequency laboratory recording. Males begin calling at sunset. The population from McGill Campground on Mount Pinos , Ventura County, California has a significantly slower PTR than that of the type locality (2-sample t -test, P = 0.002). Males may also produce audible substrate vibrations via drumming. Drums precede bouts of stridulation ( Fig. 21 View FIGURE 21 )   .

Karyotype. (n = 5) 2n♁ = 22 (4m + 16t + XmYt), shared only with N. macneilli   . T88-69, S88-72, topotype.

Recognition. Morphological and color pattern differences thought to separate N. castanea   from N. macneilli   (per Rentz & Birchim 1968) are unreliable. The development of the styli on the subgenital plate, from absent to slight swellings to articulated, may vary within a population and even between the left and right sides of a single specimen. Both species exhibit the full range of variation in color patterns. Female N. castanea   have round, highly convex subgenital plates, whereas those of N. macneilli   are subtriangular with a bluntly pointed apex. Geographically N. castanea   replaces N. macneilli   , which is a Sierra Nevada species, in the Transverse Ranges of southern California.

Notes. We treat N. castanea   and N. macneilli   as closely related sister species based on reproductive isolation via allopatry. Both inhabit the same life zone in different geographic regions of California. N. castanea   and N. macneilli   are sympatric with Aglaothorax ovata   , and all three species share a similar robust habitus suggesting convergent evolution of body form in their habitat. Enlarged pronotal size may be adaptive for signal transmission in open habitats such as pinyon-juniper and Joshua tree woodlands, where trees and bushes are widely spaced, compared with the dense forest understories inhabited by other Neduba   species Groups. Drumming was observed during courtship in the field at the Largo Vista Road locality (see Type material above), during which a male alternated drumming and stridulating. The signaling did not result in copulation in this observed instance (JAC pers. obs.).

Material examined. (n = 26) All USA, CA   , Kern Co., 3♀, McGill Campground , Los Padres National Forest, 34.82539N, 119.09791W, 12-IX-2015, DA Gray, LACM GoogleMaps   ; 11♁, 1♀, McGill Campground , Los Padres National Forest, 34.81505N, 119.10014W, 2271 m, 8-9-VIII-2017, JA Cole, LACM GoogleMaps   ; 1♁, 1♀, same data except JAC GoogleMaps   ; Los Angeles Co., in addition to type material (above), 5♁, Sierra Highway , 0.6 miles west of Crown Valley Road, Acton, 34.4936N, 118.1834W, 929 m, 17-VI-2003, JA Cole, JN Hogue, LACM GoogleMaps   ; 1♁, same data except 18-19-VI-2008, JA Cole, JAC GoogleMaps   sound record; 1♁, Spunky Canyon , 2 mi. SW of Green Valley, 34.6023N, 118.3863W, 1047 m, 16-VI- 2012, JA Cole, LACM GoogleMaps   ; 2♁, same data except 26-VII-2001, JA Cole, LACM GoogleMaps   .


Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia


Chicago Academy of Sciences


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


California Academy of Sciences


University of Jodhpur


Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics