Genus Deinacrida, White. (1842.)
Form large and robust. Head distantly punctured; fastigium Y-shaped, low and narrow between the antennæ, broadening and grooved above, passing gradually-below-into the front. No ocelli. Antennæ with the first joint large, subcylindrical; the second about half the length of the first, not swollen; the third nearly as long as the first, cylindrical, thinner than the second; the rest small. Byes ovate. No ridges between the front and the genæ. Pronotum transverse, not projecting over the occiput; anterior and posterior margins nearly straight; the lobes short and rounded, not descending much beyond those of the mesonotum; the surface roughened.
Sternum broad; prosternum with two sharp spines; meso-and meta-sterna bilobed. Legs stout, the hind tibiæ two-and a half to three times the length of the pronotum. Coxæ of the fore and hind legs as widely separated as those of the middle legs; those of the fore and middle legs spined. Fore femora with a minute apical spine on the inner (anterior) side. Mid and hind femora with a pair of apical spines. Fore and middle femora flattened below. Hind femora not much-dilated, roundly angled above near; the insertion; flattened below, and armed with two rows of strong spines. Fore and middle tibiae with two pairs of apical spines, about equal in length. Hind tibiæ flattened above, and spined both above and below. Apical spines, three pairs, the two upper of which are subequal, the lower pair much smaller; the two lower pairs are articulated and movable. Second joint of the hind tarsi with a single blunt spine above; third joint nearly as long as the second; fourth joint longer than the other three together. Genitalia: Subgenital plate of male transverse, the posterior margin deeply concave between the insertions of the styles, the lobes carrying the styles very prominent; supra-anal plate rounded, the anal valves with a short black point on the outer margin of each, near the apex. Cerci short and stout. Subgenital plate of the female triangular, short, notched at the apex. Ovipositor slightly compressed at the apex, depressed at the base.
In the female the spines on the prosternum are further apart than in the male, and the head and thoracic nota are smoother. It is generally rather larger than the male, and the legs are proportionally shorter.
Locality.—New Zealand only.
|Mid femora without spines below; post-margins of abdominal terga smooth:|
|Fourth to eighth abdominal terga not emarginated||D. heteracantha|
|Fourth to eighth abdominal terga emarginate posteriorly||D. parva.|
|Mid femora with spines below; post-margins of abdominal terga granulated||D. rugosa.|
Deinacrida heteracantha, White, in Gray's Zool. Misc., 1842, part 2, p. 71; Dieffenbach's New Zealand, ii., p. 280; Zool. Voyage of “Erebus” and “Terror,” Insects, p.24, pl.5, figs. 1, 1a, and 1b; Hochstetter's New Zealand, p. 169, wood-cut; Buller, Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. iii., p. 35, and Zoologist, 1867, p. 849; Brunner, Mon. Stenopelmatides, p. 25. Hemideina gigantea, Colenso, Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xiv., p. 278 (1882).
Antennæ five or six times the length of the body. Front slightly wrinkled; post-clypeus very short; labrum nearly circular; mandibles not conspicuously keeled. Pronotum margined, symmetrically rugose, the lateral furrows smooth, the transverse furrow obsolete. Meso-and meta-nota slightly margined, transversely wrinkled on the posterior portion. Thoracic sterna smooth and shining, the lobes of the mesosternum produced into sharp spines, those of the meta-sternum into blunt spines. Abdominal segments slightly transversely striated above near their posterior margins, and, in the male, they are obscurely keeled from the fifth to the eighth. Pore and middle femora unarmed below. Hind femora, below, with four to seven strong spines on the outer and seven to twelve on the inner edge. Fore and middle tibiæ with four pairs of spines below; the middle tibiæ have also two spines above on the posterior side. Hind tibiæ, above, have four alternating spines in each row, the inner larger (occasionally a fifth is developed); below they have four spines in the inner and five in the outer row.
The sounding-organ is a single oblique ridge on each lobe of the second abdominal tergum.
In the female the abdominal segments are more strongly keeled above than in the male. The keel is most prominent on the fifth and sixth segments; the second and third segments are slightly emarginate, posteriorly, above.
Colours.—Pale tawny, the pronotum reddish, without any dark marks on the thoracic nota or tarsi; mandibles pale in colour. In the female the abdominal segments are dark purplish on the posterior margins.
Average dimensions are: Length, 55mm.; length of pronotum, 15mm.; of thorax, 25mm.; of abdomen, 30mm.; of fore tibia, 28mm. ♂, 23mm. ♀; of hind tibia, 48mm. ♂, 42mm. ♀; of hind femora, 40mm. ♂, 36mm. ♀; of ovipositor, 28mm. Width of head, 13mm.; of pronotum, 17mm.
Localities.—The northern part of the North Island and the Great Barrier Island.
This species is the weta-punga of the Maoris. Sir W. Buller says that it appears to subsist chiefly on the green leaves of trees and shrubs. It climbs with great agility, and is sometimes found on the topmost branches of lofty trees, but generally on the low underwood of the forest. Dr. Hochstetter says that it lives in rotten wood and under the bark of trees.
Deinacrida rugosa. Plate XII., fig. 2.
Deinacrida rugosa, Buller, Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. iii., p. 36, pl. vb., figs. 1 and 3 (1871).
Antennæ less than twice the length of the body. Front smooth; post-clypeus slightly transversely-wrinkled, and the lateral margins swollen. Abdomen very thick and rounded. Pronotum margined. Meso-and meta-nota and abdominal terga roughened, their posterior edges ornamented with a row of granules; the abdominal terga, especially from the second to the fourth, slightly emarginate. Lobes of the meso-and meta-sterna not produced into spines. Middle femora, below, with three spines on the inner (posterior) edge; hind femora, below, with five strong spines on the outer (anterior) and five or six on the inner (posterior) edge. Tibiæ of fore and middle legs with four pairs of spines below, those of the middle legs with two spines above on the posterior edge; hind tibiæ, above, with four spines in each row, the inner considerably larger than the outer; below there are three spines in the inner and four in the outer row. The superior pair of apical spurs are fixed.
The sounding-organ on the second abdominal tergum consists, on each side, of two oblique ridges.
In the female the emarginations of the abdominal terga are not so distinct. The subgenital plate is long and truncated at the apex.
Colours.—Reddish-brown, meso-and meta-nota and the posterior margins of the abdominal terga darker. Mandibles pale, with black tips. Thoracic nota and tarsi with black marks. A blackish line on the upper surface of the tibiæ.
Length, 51mm. ♂, 58mm. ♀; of pronotum, 12mm.; of thorax, 23mm.; of abdomen, 29mm. ♂, 35mm. ♀; of ovipositor, 25mm.; of fore tibia, 15mm.; of hind tibia, 30mm.; of hind femur, 29mm. Width of head, 12mm.; of pronotum, 17mm.
Localities.—The type came from Wanganui, and was-found underground. The foregoing description is taken from a pair from among stones on the beach at Stephens Island, in Cook Strait, presented to the Canterbury Museum by W. T. L. Travers, Esq.