Wednesday 12 August 2020

NOVATAXA: Four new species of weta

[Entomology • 2020] Ecology and Systematics of the Wine Wētā and Allied Species (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae), with Description of Four New Hemiandrus Species

Hemiandrus spp.  

in  Trewick, Taylor-Smith & Morgan-Richards, 2020. 

Wētā (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae) are a well-recognised component of New Zealand nocturnal ecology, but much of the diversity remains undescribed and only partly characterised. Species of Hemiandrus conceal themselves during the day in soil burrows and most are infrequently encountered, however, one taxon is notorious in some South Island vineyards. We demonstrate that this wētā at unusually high density in some vineyards in the Awatere valley is also found in North Island forests (Hemiandrus bilobatus). Here we use morphological and genetic data to identify the wine wētā and examine its ecology in vineyards. We also describe four new species which belong to the same ground wētā clade as the wine wētā. We provide mtDNA analysis and diagnostic morphological characters to distinguish six Hemiandrus species that are characterised by adult females having an extremely short ovipositor and maternal care.

KEYWORDS: Anostostomatidae, diet, ground wētā,  Hemiandrus, systematics, vineyard, wine wētā

Phylogeny of the short-ovipositor clade of Hemiandrus ground wētā based on mitochondrial COI (757bp) DNA sequences, representing two described and four new species. ...

  Hemiandrus bilobatus the wine wētā feeding on young vine leaf, the seaward Awatere valley near Blenheim, New Zealand 

Hemiandrus bilobatus on grape vine sleeve, Awatere.

Modification of sternite 6 (S6) in adult females of two described short-ovipositor Hemiandrus ground wētā.
Hemiandrus bilobatus: A–B, Awatere (GW1160); C, Mana (GW652); D, Awatere (GW1225). Hemiandrus pallitarsis: E–F, Karori Wellington with typical S6 (GW1140); G–H, Karori with unusual additional S5 modification (GW1139).

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