Amyttacta Beier, 1965

Naskrecki, Piotr, Bazelet, Corinna S. & Spearman, Lauren A., 2008, New species of flightless katydids from South Africa (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Meconematinae), Zootaxa 1933 (1), pp. 19-32: 21

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1933.1.3


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Amyttacta Beier, 1965


Amyttacta Beier, 1965  

Type species: Amyttacta rhodesica Beier, 1965: 225   .

This southern African genus of the Amytta   -group has been recorded previously from Angola ( A. angolensis Beier   ) and Zimbabwe ( A. rhodesica Beier   ), but never south of the Limpopo River, and thus the two species described below are the southernmost records for representatives of the Amytta- group.

All species of Amyttacta   are characterized by relatively simple cerci in the male, which are armed with small, basal hooks or spines. The 10 th in the male is well sclerotized, but not overhanging the epiproct (the posterior edge of the 10 th tergite bears two elongated processes in A. angolensis   ), and the subgenital plate has a pair of small, but distinct styli. None of the known species has sclerotized titillators. The ovipositor is long (about as long as the hind femur) and nearly straight (only the male is known in A. angolensis   .)

Nothing is known about the biology of the previously described species, except for the fact that adults of A. rhodesica   are used by wasps Sphex pelopoeiformis (Dahlbom)   as larval food ( Beier 1965.) A. farrelli   described below, was found to be exceptionally abundant in Limpopo at grassy sites dominated by common Guinea grass Urochloa maxima (Jacq.) R.D. Webster. The   density of individuals at some sites was 10–15 individuals/m 2, and often multiple individuals were seen feeding on the same grass inflorescence. These katydids were also seen on other species of plants, but no feeding on plants other than Guinea grass was observed.

Males of A. farrelli   produce long, ultrasonic calls, in the range of 31–100 kHz (see below). While no mating was observed, we saw several females carrying or eating large spermatophylaxes, suggesting a significant paternal investment in this species ( Fig. 3D View FIGURE 3 ).