Sphodropoda tristis (Saussure)

Milledge, G. A., 2005, Revision of the Genera Sphodropoda, Trachymantis and Zopheromantis (Mantodea: Mantidae: Mantinae), Records of the Australian Museum 57, pp. 191-210: 193-198

publication ID

2201-4349

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/03F287A4-FFBF-FFC5-4B62-FB65FA34F389

treatment provided by

Felipe

scientific name

Sphodropoda tristis (Saussure)
status

 

Sphodropoda tristis (Saussure)  

Figs. 7–8, 11–13, 17, 42

Mantis tristis Saussure, 1871: 93   .

Hierodula (Sphodropoda) tristis (Saussure)   .– Stål, 1871: 399. Sphodropoda tristis (Saussure)   .– Westwood, 1889: 13. Sphodropoda moesta Giglio-Tos, 1911: 20   ; new synonym. Sphodropoda mjobergi Sjöstedt, 1918: 25   ; new synonym. Sphodropoda papua Beier, 1965: 489–90   ; new synonym.

Type material examined. Syntype female of Sphodropoda moesta, CapeYork, Daemel   , cat. no. 3883 ( ZMHU)   . Syntype male and syntype female of Sphodropoda mjobergi, Kimberley   district, N.W. Australia, Mjöberg ( NHRM)   .

Other specimens examined. Queensland. 13, Armstrong Creek crossing, 13 km NNW of Guthalungra, 26 Jan 1982, M.S. & B.J. Moulds. 1♀, Biggenden Bluff , Mt. Walsh National Park , 10 Jan 1984, D. Rugg. 13, 1♀, 7 km S of Biggenden, Mt. Walsh National Park , 9–12 Apr 1971, H. Frauca. 5♀, Bluff Range , near Biggenden , 2–12 May 1971, H. Frauca. 2 juv, Bluff Range , 8 km S of Biggenden, 9 Jan 1971, H. Frauca. 1♀, 20 km NE of Bundaberg, Apr 1971, H. Frauca. 13, Byfield , 10 May 1955, Common & Norris. 23, 1♀, Carnarvon National Park (Tourist Lodge), 25°05'S 148°15'E, 27 & 29 Apr 1979, K.H.L. Key. 13, Clermont , 15 Feb 1975, R.A. Farrow. 33, 7 km SSW of Clermont, 2 Apr 1977, R.C. Lewis. 1♀, 1 juv, near Clohesy River 12 km SW of Kuranda, 7 Feb 1988, 16°54'S 145°34'E, D.C.F. Rentz. 1 juv, 52 km SE of Cloncurry, 25 Aug 1960, M.J.D. White. 1 juv, Desailly Creek , 10 km NW of Mt. Carbine, 16°30'S 144°55'E, 19–21 May 1981, D.C.F. Rentz. 13, 1 juv, 8 km W of Dimbulah, 17°09'S 145°02'E, 22 Mar 1988, D.C.F. Rentz. 13, 42 km N of Emerald, 20 Apr 1955, Norris & Common. 1♀, Forty Mile Scrub, 55 km SSW of Mt. Garnet, 18°06'S 144°50'E, 8 Dec 1985, J. Balderson. 13, 3 km N of Greenvale HS, W of Ingham, 5 Apr 1962, K.H.L. Key & E.L. Corby. 1 juv, Isla Gorge Lookout, Isla Gorge National Park , SSW of Theodore, 25°10'S 150°00'E, 21 Apr 1982, D.C.F. Rentz. 13, 3 km SE of Mary Kathleen, 21 Apr 1962, K.H.L. Key & E.L. Corby. 13, Moondoo, 26 Feb 1963, A.L. Dyce & M.D. Murray. 1 juv, 10 km SE of Mt. Carbine, 16°37'S 145°12'E, 24 Nov 1981, J. Balderson. 1 juv, 17 km WSW of Mt. Faulkner, Clermont district , 7 Jan 1965, M.J.D. White. 13, Mt. Larcom , 18 Apr 1955, Norris & Common. 23, Running River , 22 km W of Paluma, 11 Feb 1971, J.G. Brooks. 13, near Poona Lake , Cooloola National Park , 25°58'S 153°07'E, 4 Apr 1978, D.C.F & B.G.F. Rentz. 1♀, 1 km N of Rounded Hill, near Cooktown, 15°17'S 145°13'E, 5–7 May 1981, D.C.F. Rentz. 13, 23 km NNE of Taroom, 29 Mar 1977, R.C. Lewis. 13, 9 km WNW of Taroom, 25°34'S 149°45'E, 1 Feb 1981, D.C.F. Rentz & D.T. Gwynne. 1 juv, 7 km E of Toowoomba, 2 Jan 1956, M.J.D. White. 13, Townsville, 7 Jan 1968, P. Ferrar. 13, Townsville, 31 Dec 1967, P. Ferrar. 1♀, Watalgan Range, near Bundaberg , 3 Jul 1971, H. Frauca. 1♀, Watalgan Range, S of Rosedale, Mar 1971, H. Frauca. 13, Waverley Creek , Bruce Highway, 10 km S of St. Lawrence turnoff, 27 Jan 1988, M.S. & B.J. Moulds (All ANIC). 1♀, Augathella, 25°48'S 146°35'E, 18 Jan 1993, G. Milledge. 1♀, 16 km ESE of Burke & Wills Junction , 19°17'S 140°29'E, 15 Jan 1993, G. Milledge. 13, 2♀ 1 km NNE of Collins Weir, W of Atherton, 17°15'S 145°17'E, 10 Feb 1989, G. Milledge. 13, 8 km E of Emuford, 30 Dec 1989, M.S. & B.J. Moulds. 5♀, Georgetown , 12–14 Apr 1991, G. Milledge. 13, Georgetown, 16 Apr 1991, G. Milledge. 13, 12 km E of Georgetown, 12 Apr 1991, G. Milledge. 1♀, 6 km S of Normanton, of Wills Creek, 9.5 km NE of Normanton, 17°38'S 141°09'E, 11 Jan 1993, G. Milledge (all NMV) GoogleMaps   .

New South Wales. 1 juv, 29 km ENE of Coonabarabran, 31°08'S 149°33'E, 25 Nov 1983, D.C.F. Rentz & M.S. Harvey. 1♀, Dungay Creek GoogleMaps   , 13 km W of Kempsey , I.H. Parberry. 1 juv   , 5 km SE of Merrygoen , 18 Jan 1961, M.J. D.White   . 13, 15 km WNW of Monia Gap , 2 Feb 1964, M.J.D. White. 1 juv   , 10 km W of Temora, 12 Jan 1955, M.J.D. White (all ANIC). 1♀, Clarence River, Mr Wilcox ( NMV)   .

Northern Territory. 1♀, 43 km SE of Adelaide River, 4 Nov 1966, A. & R. Mesa. 23, Barrow Creek Telegraph Station , 20 Mar 1955, K.H.L. Key. 1 juv, Berrimah , 10 Mar 1972, J.C. Wombey. 1♀, 38 km ENE of Birrindudu HS, 18°15'S 129°45'E, 11 Jul 1969, C. Simpson. 1 juv, Blackfellows Station to Burnside, 2–3 Apr 1929, T.G. Campbell. 1♀, Borroloola , McArthur River , 16 Jun 1929, T.G. Campbell. 13, 22 km WSW of Borroloola, 16°08'S 136°06E, 16 Apr 1976, Key & Balderson. 13, 36 km SW of Borroloola, 16°19'S 136°05'E, 4 Nov 1975, M.S. Upton. 13, 46 km SSW of Borroloola, 16°28'S 136°09'E, 28 Oct 1975, M.S. Upton. 1 juv, Caiman Creek , Coburg Peninsula, 11°14'S 132°12'E, 13 Feb 1977, R.C. Lewis. 1♀, Caranbirini Waterhole, 33 km SW of Borroloola, 16°16'S 136°05'E, 21 Apr 1976, Key & Balderson. 1 juv, 7 km SW of Coolibah HS, 15°34'S 30°54'E, 28 Jun 1968, M. Mendum. 1♀, Darwin, 25 Apr 1972, E.C. Abbey. 13, 8 km NNW of Elliott, 17°29'S 133°30'E, 14 Oct 1972, M.S.Upton. 1♀, Howard Springs, 30 Dec 1986, M.S. & B.J. Moulds. 13, Humpty Doo, 29–30 Jan 1939, E.B. Boerema. 13, Mataranka, 26 Mar 1955, K.H.L. Key. 1♀, McArthur River HS, 80 km SW of Borroloola, 16°39'S 135°51'E, 13 May 1973, M.S. Upton & J.E. Feehan. 1♀, 16 km WSW of McArthur River HS, 16°45'S 135°44'E, 13 May 1975, Balderson & Freeman. 13, 15 km E of Mt. Cahill, 12°52'S 132°50'E, 7 Mar 1973, K.H.L.Key. 13, October Creek, Carpentaria Hwy, 180 km E of Daly Waters, 11 Jan 1986, M.S. & B.J. Moulds. 13, Plenty Hwy, 268 km ENE of Alice Springs, 22°47'S 136°18'E, 14 Oct 1978, M.S. Upton. 13, 30 km ENE of Soudan HS, 19°55'S 137°15'E, 25 Apr 1976, Key & Balderson. 13, Standley Chasm, 43 km W of Alice Springs, 9 Feb 1966, Britton, Upton & McInnes. 13, Stuart Hwy, 58 km NW of Alice Springs, 23°11'S 133°44'E, 28 Oct 1988, D.C.F. Rentz. 1 juv, Tanami Borehole, 19°59'S 129°42'E, Jul–Sep 1971, J. Hodgson. 23, Tindal, 14°31'S 132°22'E, 1–20 Dec 1967, W.J.M.Vestjens. 13, Tindal, 2 Dec 1967, W.J.M. Vestjens. 13, 13 km W of Top Springs, 24 Oct 1965, Blackith & Mesa. 13, Uluru Motel, Ayers Rock, 25°21'S 131°03'E, 4 Nov 1980, K.H.L. Key (all ANIC). 13, 31 km S of Alice Springs, 27 Sep 1987, G. Milledge. 1♀, Darwin, Jul–Aug 1912, Prof Spencer. 1♀, Uluru Camp Site, Horn Centenary Expedition, 25°23'10"S 131°00'46"E, 24 Oct 1994, G. Milledge, 1♀, Watarrka National Park, Mar 1995, G. Milledge (all NMV) GoogleMaps   .

South Australia. 33, 8.5 km WSW of Calperum HS, 34°05'S 140°38'E, 2 Mar 1995, Cardale, Colloff & Pullen ( ANIC) GoogleMaps   .

Victoria. 1♀, Inglewood. 13, Mallee District, 3 Mar 1914, C. French. 13, Mallee District   . 1♀, 22.3 km N of Millewa South Bore , 34°35'S 141°03'E, 17–21 Feb 1987, G. Milledge GoogleMaps   . 1♀, 16.8 km SSW of Murrayville , 35°25'S 141°09'E, 23 Feb 1986, G. Milledge GoogleMaps   . 1♀, Wyperfield National Park , 3 Mar 1964, H.E. Tarr (all NMV)   .

Western Australia. 1♀, Balgo Hills , 13 Oct 1985, M. Golding   . 33, 38 km WNW of Balladonia Motel , 22 Feb 1980, D.C.F. 7 B.G.F. Rentz. 13, Brogo Hill   , 160 km S of Halls Creek , 10 Sep 1985, M. Golding   . 13, 42 km ESE of Broome , 16 Apr 1963, L.J. Chinnick   . 13, 145 km ESE of Broome , 18°55'S 123°27'E, 8 Aug 1976, I.F.B. Common GoogleMaps   . 1♀, 186 km ESE of Broome , 18°53'S 123°43'E, 11 Aug 1976, I.F.B. Common GoogleMaps   . 13, 5 km SSW of Cape Bertholet , 17°17'S 122°10'E, 21 Apr 1977, D.H. Colless GoogleMaps   . 13, 8 km S of Cape Bertholet , 17°19'S 122°10'E, 16 Apr 1977, D.H. Colless GoogleMaps   . 1♀, Halls Creek, 29 Sep 1953, Brittan. 13, Kimberley Research Station , via Wyndham , 15 Aug 1955, E.C.B. Langfield. 13, Kimberley Research Station , via Wyndham , 28 Dec 1956, E.C.B. Langfield   . 1♀, Kimberley Research Station , 21–22 Apr 1958, L.J. & M.F. Chinnick & J. Walker   . 13, 1 km NNE of Millstream HS, 21°35'S 117°04'E, 3 Apr 1971, Upton & Mitchell GoogleMaps   . 33, 2 km ENE of Millstream HS, 21°35'S 117°04'E, 22 & 30 Oct & 4 Nov 1970, M.S. Upton & J.E. Feehan GoogleMaps   . 1♀, Mining Camp, Mitchell Plateau, Kimberley district , 14°49'S 125°50'E, 9–19 May 1983, D.C.F. Rentz & J. Balderson GoogleMaps   . 1♀, 50 km SW of Sandfire Flat, Broome–Port Hedland Rd , 29 Oct 1978, M.S. & B.J. Moulds. 1 juv   , 8 km SW of Walsh Point, Admiralty Gulf , 14°37'S 125°48'E, 17 May 1983, D.C.F. Rentz & J. Balderson GoogleMaps   . 1♀, 2 km NNE of Wyndham Port P.O., 15°27'S 128°06'E, 16 Apr 1985, K.H.L. Key. 13, Wyndham , 25 Apr 1930, T.G. Campbell (all ANIC) GoogleMaps   . 1 juv, 217 km SE of Broome, 15 Sep 1924, A.S. Cudmore. 1 juv, Forrest River Mission, 8–12 Sep 1953 (both NMV)   . 13, Bamboo Creek , 20°56'S 120°13'E, 22 Jan 1974, A.M. & M.J. Douglas GoogleMaps   . 1♀, Beverley Springs HS, 16°43'S 125°27'E, 19 May 1979, B.G. Muir. 13, Cape Range, May 1965, G.W. Kendrick. 13, Derby, 1962, G. Beamish. 13, Greys Camp, Rudall River, near Larrys Creek , May 1971, K. Clarke & P. Moore GoogleMaps   . 13, 13 km ESE of Mooka HS, 24°58'S 114°49'E, 9–11 May 1981, B. Hanich & T.F. Houston GoogleMaps   . 13, 51 km SSW of Norseman , 8 Mar 1984, T.F. Houston   . 1♀, Salmon Gums. 13, Walganna Rock, Austin Downs , 27°43'S 117°28'E, 27 Aug 1987, R.P. McMillan GoogleMaps   . 1♀, Winjana Gorge , campsite 13, 12 Apr 1970, Lemley Expedition (all WAM)   .

Diagnosis. This species can be distinguished from others in the genus by the pattern of tubercles and colouration on the inner face of the foreleg ( Fig. 12).

Description. Body ( Figs. 7–8) smallish to moderately large. Colour brown with mottled tegmina, green with mottled tegmina or uniform green. Ridge on frontal shield with blunt point at apex. Prothorax with numerous scattered tubercles on dorsal surface, particularly in female; lateral margin finely denticulate; metazone dark grey ventrally, sometimes with orange patch between coxal insertions. Fore leg ( Fig. 12) with inner face of coxa dark grey with 6–7 contrasting cream tubercles on anterior margin; inner face of femur orange, with 3–4 small black spots at bases of spines; inner face of first tarsal segment mostly black, of other tarsal segments black apically. Wings of male longer than abdomen, as long as or slightly shorter than abdomen in female; ventral surface of costal area of tegmen rosy red, at least in basal half; discoidal area completely opaque in female, only partly so in male, usually with dark patch on distal margin of stigma (absent in uniformly green specimens and small males of other colour forms); hind wing with costal and discoidal area reddish to yellowish, anal area slightly smoky, particularly toward apex, in female, mostly hyaline in male. Abdomen with median black spot on proximal margin of ventral sclerites 2–5. Male genitalia ( Figs. 13, 17) with relatively short stout apr; pa and dpr rather variable, pa compact, shagreened, L to C shaped when viewed dorsally, with pointed, laterally directed posterior process and sometimes with blunt pointed, dorsally directed process; dpr terminated with two short, pointed projections of variable form.

Measurements (mm). Body length, 3 38–68, ♀ 41–72. Head width, 3 7–9, ♀ 8–10. Head depth, 3 4–7, ♀ 6–9. Pronotum length, 3 9–18, ♀ 11–19. Pronotum width, 3 3–6, ♀ 4–8. Fore coxa length, 3 6–11, ♀ 8–13. Fore femur length, 3 7–13, ♀ 10–15. Hind femur length, 3 7–13, ♀ 9–14. Hind tibia length, 3 7–13, ♀ 9–14. Tegmen length, 3 26–46, ♀ 26–37.

Immature stages. First two instars dark coloured and antlike in appearance and behaviour, the abdomen being curled dorsally when active. Later instars more like adult in behaviour and appearance. Ootheca pale grey or cream, and squat looking. Chapman & Balderson (1984) recorded a female of this species from Brisbane as laying its oothecae in the ground. This behaviour may not be obligatory however, as I have collected oothecae from the “paper” bark of melaleuca trees in the Cairns region. I have also had females in captivity which laid oothecae on the roof and sides of the container, although oviposition was not observed.

Distribution and habits. Found through most of mainland Australia ( Fig. 42), also southeast Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands ( Beier 1965). The locality of the female type specimen, which cannot be located ( Balderson 1984), is recorded as the Fiji Islands ( Saussure 1871). This record, however, must remain doubtful until further specimens are obtained. This species is a shrub and tree dweller, usually found on stems or trunks. When disturbed, individuals move to the other side of the stem and flatten themselves against the substrate. Females are capable of at least short flights.

Remarks. This widespread species is quite variable in size and to some extent in the form of the male genitalia ( Fig. 17). Specimens from the north west of the continent tend to be smaller ( S. mjobergi   form) while those from the northeast tend to be larger (typical S. tristis   ). However, after examining numerous specimens I cannot find any group of characters that would separate one population from the rest. Morphological characters useful in delineating other species within the genera considered here (e.g., pattern on inside of foreleg, head shape) show little or no variation. Thus S. mjobergi   is considered a synonym of S. tristis   . I have not been able to locate the holotype of S. papua   . It is apparently not in the New Guinea Dept. of Agriculture & Livestock collection, although several paratypes are (F. Dori, pers. comm.), nor is it in the Bishop Museum collection (G. Nishida, pers. comm.). Beier’s (1965) description and photograph suggests this species falls well within the range of variation observed for Australian S. tristis   and it is therefore considered synonymous. I have examined a syntype of S. moesta Giglio-Tos   and there is nothing to indicate his species is different from S. tristis   . As suggested by Tindale (1923), it is merely the brown colour form of S. tristis   . The syntype specimen of S. moesta   examined was listed as the holotype by Balderson (1984). The original description by Giglio-Tos, however, clearly lists two specimens, the second from “the Island of Australia ”. This second specimen cannot be located in the ZMHU (M. Ohl, pers. comm.). I have also examined two syntypes of S. mjobergi   and it is obviously the north western form of S. tristis   . There has been some confusion as to the authorship of the name of this species. Although Saussure described the species he attributed the name tristis   to Brunner. Up until recently all subsequent authors except Westwood (1889) attributed the name to Saussure. Balderson et al. (1998), however, attributed the name to Brunner in Saussure, but, as there is no indication that Brunner was responsible for the description, Saussure must be considered the author.

ZMHU

Zoologisches Museum der Humboldt Universitaet

NHRM

Naturhistoriska Rijkmuseet

ANIC

Australian National Insect Collection

NMV

Museum Victoria

WAM

Western Australian Museum

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Insecta

Order

Mantodea

Family

Mantidae

Genus

Sphodropoda

Loc

Sphodropoda tristis (Saussure)

Milledge, G. A. 2005
2005
Loc

Mantis tristis

Saussure, H 1871: 93
1871
Loc

Hierodula (Sphodropoda) tristis (Saussure)

Beier, M 1965: 90
Sjostedt, Y 1918: 25
Giglio-Tos, E 1911: 20
Westwood, J 1889: 13
Stal, C 1871: 399
1871