Apteroscirtus densissimus, Hemp, 2020

Hemp, Claudia, 2020, New species of Mecopodinae (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae) from Tanzania, Zootaxa 4790 (1), pp. 138-150 : 139-142

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Apteroscirtus densissimus

n. sp.

Apteroscirtus densissimus n. sp.

( Fig. 1–6 View FIGURE 1 View FIGURE 2 View FIGURE 3 View FIGURE 4 View FIGURE 5 View FIGURE 6 )

Holotype male. Tanzania, Nguru Mountains , submontane forest, March 2017, collected between 6°03´12.1´´S 37°33´38.7´´ E and 6°04´01.3´´ S 37°34´24.2´´ E. Depository: CCH. 1 male, 8 females, same data as holotype and February and June 2017, March 2019 and March 2020. Depository: CCH. GoogleMaps

Description. General body shape and colour: stout body, mottled brown to black ( Fig. 1 A, B View FIGURE 1 ). Head and antennae.—Antennae about twice the body length, about 5.5 cm long. Fastigium verticis with median indentation forming two small „horns“ when seen laterally or from the front ( Fig. 4 A View FIGURE 4 ). Fastigium verticis abruptly forming acute angle to face merging into frons of face without clear separation. Thorax.—Pronotum cylindrical and hardly constricted at first sulcus; disc of pronotum evenly rounded, rugose, of uniform colour. Tegmina not discernible. Legs.—Legs long and slender, base of hind femur stout. Hind femora surpassing apex of body about body length, hind tibiae as long as femora. Tympana of fore tibiae oval and open on both sides. Fore femora on inner side with 2–4 four stout short spines (different number of spines even on the same specimen), outer side unarmed; mid femora unarmed. Hind femora at apical third ventral double row of irregular set spines. Abdomen.—Abdominal tergites medially with smooth wart-like elongate structures, giving males a serrated appearance when seen laterally ( Fig. 1 A, B View FIGURE 1 ). Cerci stout, rounded and short ( Fig. 4 B View FIGURE 4 ). Subgenital plate a typical fork, rather stout and short ( Fig. 4 B, C View FIGURE 4 ); without styli.

Female. Larger than male. No signs of tegmina, as male apterous. Legs and spination as in male. Pronotum broad with sulci hardly constricting pro-, meso- and metazona and thus almost evenly rounded ( Fig. 5 A View FIGURE 5 ). Dorsum of abdomen as in male, medially with large darker coloured knobs. Ovipositor stout and slightly up-curved at posterior part ( Fig. 1 C, D View FIGURE 1 ). Subgenital plate a broad shield ( Fig. 6 A View FIGURE 6 ).

Measurements, males (mm) (N = 2). Body length 23.2–26. Length of pronotum 6.7–7.0. Length of hind femur 26–27.5.

Measurements, females (mm) (N = 5). Body length 28.6–33.5. Length of pronotum 7.4–8.0. Length of hind femur 28.3–31.1. Ovipositor length 17.5–18.7.

Diagnosis. Both males and females of A. densissimus n. sp. differ from the other East African species A. cristatus Hemp, 2013 and A. planidorsatus Hemp, 2013 in a having an unconstricted broad pronotum that is evenly rounded while the pronotum in both other species is markedly constricted at the first sulcus, especially in A. planidorsatus (compare Fig. 3 A, C, E View FIGURE 3 and 5 View FIGURE 5 A–C). When seen from above the fastigium verticis is medially incised both in male and female of A. densissimus n. sp., but has a rugose but more or less straight margin in A. cristatus and is smooth and slightly rounded in A. planidorsatus ( Fig. 3 B, D, F View FIGURE 3 ). Both males of A. cristatus and A. planidorsatus have tiny elongated tegminal lobes while in A. densissimus n. sp. no remains of the tegmina were detected. Further A. densissimus n. sp. is larger and stouter than the other two species. The subgenital plates of female Apteroscirtus species do not provide good distinguishing characters. Both in A. densissimus n. sp. and A. cristatus the female subgenital plate is a broad shield while in A. planidorsatus the posterior margin is slightly incised ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 A–C).

Habitat. A night-active species of the litter and on herbs in submontane to montane forest.

Distribution. Known at present only from the Nguru Mountains in Tanzania.

Etymology. From Latin - densissima, thick, stout since this new species is larger and stouter than the other two Tanzanian Apteroscirtus species.