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Volume 31, 1898
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Art. IV.—Notes on the New Zealand Acrididæ.

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 2nd November, 1898.]

Plate II. (in part).

This paper contains descriptions of new species of alpine grasshoppers given me by Messrs. L. and A. Cockayne, as well as further details of species which have been already described; and I have arranged the genera into two groups, after the classification of C. Brunner de Wattenwyl in his “Révision du Système des Orthoptères.”

An examination of a European specimen of Podisma (= Pezotettix) alpina and an American one of Bradypus obesa, kindly sent by Mr. S. H. Scudder, has shown me that our species cannot be placed in either of those genera, and I propose for them a new genus, called “Brachaspis,” from its short and broad sternal shield.

Artificial Key to the Genera.

a. Pronotum flattened above, the lateral keels distinct.
a1. Hind femora without an apical tooth.
a2. Antennæ three-quarters the length of hind femur Sigaus.
b2. Antennæ one-half the length of hind femur Trigoniza.
b1. Hind femora with a minute apical tooth.
c2. Tegmina touching each other Phaulacridium.
d2. Tegmina widely separated Paprides.
b. Pronotum rounded above, without any lateral keels Brachaspis.

Family Acrididæ.
Group Mesembriæ, Brunner.

Fastigium divided from the frontal costa by a transverse carina,* its longitudinal keel very slight or absent. Frontal costa straight or slightly sinuated. Antennæ longer than the fore femora. Pronotum nearly flat, smooth or granulated, three-keeled in all the New Zealand species. Hind tibiæ) rounded on the sides, armed with more than seven spines (eight to ten in the New Zealand species), regularly disposed on the outer margin, the spine immediately behind the apical spine absent on the outer side. Second joint of the hind tarsi half the length of the first.

Confined to the Old World.

[Footnote] * Except in some species of Paprides.

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Genus Sigaus.

This genus resembles the African Apoboleus in that the frontal costa dies away a little below the eyes, as well as in the rounded prosternal tubercle. From Tritropis, of Australia, it differs in having only lobiform tegmina, as in Mesambria, from which it differs in the frontal costa not being produced nor sinuated.

Sigaus piliferus.

Subgenital plate of the female elongated, the apex with a truncated point and a shoulder on each side.

Genus Trigoniza.

Subgenital plate of the female with a long acute point, springing from the lower surface a little behind the apex, which is hidden between the bases of the lower pair of the ovipositor.

Trigoniza directa. Plate II., figs. 8a-8c.

Apex of the subgenital plate in the female with two sharp teeth. Subgenital plate in the male broader than the abdomen, much recurved, rounded at the apex. The supra-anal plate triangular, apex acute, cerci long, projecting far in front of the apex. Furcula of the tenth segment well developed.

Trigoniza campestris. Plate II., fig. 9.

Subgenital plate of the female with the apex truncated, rugulose, but without any well-marked teeth.

I have received a specimen from Mount Cook Hermitage (collector, H. Suter).

Trigoniza rugosa. Plate II., fig. 10.

Subgenital plate of the female with the apex rounded and smooth.

Genus Phaulacridium.

Probably I was wrong in giving Praxilla, of Ståll, as a synonym of this genus, as Praailla is said to have the distal spine on the outer margin of the hind tibiæ developed, and therefore to belong to another group. If this is the case, Praxilla does not occur in New Zealand.

Phaulacridium marginale. Plate II., figs. 2a-2c.

Subgenital plate of the female acuminate, the apex ending in a sharp tooth with a smaller cusp on each side; supra-anal plate triangular. In the male the subgenital plate is not broader than the abdomen, and is recurved, the recurved portion with a concave sinuation, the apex rounded; supra-anal plate acuminate; cerci short, not projecting beyond the apex

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of the supra-anal plate. Furcula. of the tenth segment well developed.

I have received a specimen from the Great Barrier Island. In Canterbury it is found from sea-level to about 2,000 ft. or 3,000 ft. above the sea. On Mount Torlesse Mr. Cockayne has obtained a variety which is olive-green above and yellow-green below. It was found in company with typical specimens.

Genus Paprides.

The subgenital plate in the female has a long subapical point, which is hidden between the bases of the lower division of the ovipositor, as in Trigoniza. The genus is closely related to Phaulacridium, but differs in having the frontal costa sulcate, the antennæ thicker and with 23 or 24 joints, as well as in other points. In P. australis, P. furcifer, and P. nitidus the margins of the fastigium meet in front and separate it from the frontal costa; but in P. torquatus and P. armillatus this is not the case, and the fastigium passes into the frontal costa, as in the Melanopli.

Artificial Key to the Species.

Anterior margin of the lobes of the pronotum yellow.
Brownish-olive; subgenital plate of ♀ two-toothed P. torquatus.
Green; subgenital plate of ♀ three-toothed P. armillatus.
Anterior margin of the lobes of the pronotum not yellow.
Vertex deflexed; prosternal tubercle truncate.
  Subgenital plate of ♀ three-toothed P. nitidus.
  Subgenital plate of ♀ two-toothed P. furcifer.
Vertex hardly deflexed; prosternal tubercle rounded.
  Subgenital plate of ♀ three-toothed P. australis.

Paprides australis. Plate II., fig. 5.

Apex of the subgenital plate of the female pointed, and with a small tooth at each side.

Paprides nitidus. Plate II., fig. 4.

Apex of the subgenital plate of the female truncated, with three subequal teeth.

Paprides furcifer, sp. no v. Plate II., figs. 3a-3c.

Above green, either bright or dull, with pale-purplish lateral stripes from the vertex to the tegmina, and on the upper surfaces of the hind femora; also along each side of the abdomen. Sides of the abdomen, below the-pale band, fuscous. Lower surface, both the sternum and the abdomen, greenish-yellow. Hind tibiae uniform yellowish-orange. Apex of the subgenital plate in the female notched in the middle, thus forming two blunt teeth. Subgenital plate in the male not broader than the abdomen, the apex rather acute, the lateral margins with a single sinuation. Supra-anal plate in the male with the

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apex rounded, and notched on each side; cerci short, not projecting beyond, the apex of the plate. Furcula of the tenth segment; not well marked.

Length, ♂ 18 mm., ♀ 26 mm.; of pronotum, ♂ 4 ½-mm., ♀ 6 mm.; of hind femur, ♂ 11mm., ♀ 14 ½mm.

Locality.—Mount Torlesse (A. Cockayne), and Hill's Peak, near Arthur's Pass (L. Cockayne). 3,000 ft. to 4,200 ft.

This species closely resembles P. nitidus, but differs from it, in the shape of the subgenital plate of the female, and the frontal costa does not project so much in front of the antennæ. Mr. L. Cockayne informs me that it is sometimes semi-aquatic, in habit. He saw numbers round a tarn on Hill's Peak, either basking on Donatia, at the margin, or on the water itself. They swim on the surface with great rapidity, using their hind legs.

Paprides torquatus, sp. nov. Plate II., fig. 6.

Vertex slightly rugulose, without any median keel, much deflexed in front, and passing into the frontal costa, the margins of the fastigium not meeting. Frontal costa produced in front of the base of the antennae to a distance about equal to the breadth of the eye. Antennæ in the male slightly clavate. Anterior sulcus of the pronotum not extending completely across the disc. Prosternal tubercle rounded at the apex. Subgenital plate of the female notched at the apex, thus forming two blunt teeth; supra-anal plate broad, rounded at the apex. Subgenital plate in the male with the apex rounded, the lateral margins not sinuated. Supra-anal plate in the male triangular, the apex acute. Furcula of the tenth segment obsolete.

Colours.—Brownish-olive, marked with black. The anterior margin of the pronotum on each side with a narrow, yellow band, immediately behind which is a broad black mark; disc of the pronotum and vertex purplish-brown. A lateral stripe on each of the tegmina brownish-yellow. Hind femora with three dark transverse bands, their under-surfaces rosy-red. Hind tibiæ rosy-red, with a broad yellow transverse band near the proximal end, which is margined on each side with black. Spines black. These colours are from fresh specimens.

Length, ♂ 18 mm., ♀ 29 mm.; of pronotum, ♂ 4 mm., ♀ 7 mm.; of hind femur, ♂ 12 mm ♀ 18mm.

Locality.—Mount Torlesse, Canterbury, at elevations of about 4,000 ft.; among Dracophyllum (A. Cockayne).

Paprides armillatus, sp. nov. Plate II., fig. 7.

Like P. torquatus, but the anterior transverse suture of the pronotum is obliterated. The prosternal tubercle truncate

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at the apex. The subgenital plate in the female has the apex notched on each side, thus forming three blunt teeth; supra-anal plate rounded at the apex. Male not known.

Colours.—Bright-green above; the anterior margin of the pronotum yellow on the sides. Tegmina yellowish-brown. Lower surface pinkish. Hind femora with three dark transverse bands, their lower surfaces orange-red. Hind tibiæ orange-red, with a broad band of yellow, margined on each side with black, near the proximal end; the spines black.

Length, ♀ 31 mm.; of pronotum, ♀ 6 mm.; of hind femur, ♀ 18 mm.

Locality.—Mount Torlesse, Canterbury, at elevations of about 3,000 ft. (A. Cockayne).

Group Melanopli, Scudder.
Pezotettiges, Brunner.

Closely allied to the Mesembriœ, but the fastigium is always deflexed, and passes insensibly into the frontal costa, there being no dividing-ridge between the two. Also the pronotum is not flat, but rounded, and lateral carinæ are rarely present. In the species of the Northern Hemisphere the spines in the outer row on the hind tibiæ are 9 to 14 (very rarely 8), while in the New Zealand forms the number of spines is from 6 to 8.

Chiefly American, but a few species are found in Europe, and one in Africa.

Genus Brachaspis, gen. nov.

Pezotettix, Hutton, Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xxx., p. 143, not of Burmeister.

As the characters I gave in my former paper were taken from New Zealand insects they will serve for those of Brachaspis, but I will add a few others.

The antennæ in the female are about as long as the fore femora, longer in the male. The tegmina are never absent, but rarely project beyond the first abdominal segment. The tympana are distinct, but hidden by the points of the tegmina. The subgenital plate in the female has a long subapical point, which is hidden between the bases of the lower division of the ovipositor. The supra-anal plate in the male and the sternal shield in both sexes are variable—by the sternal shield I mean the fused sterna of the mesothorax, the metathorax, and the first abdominal segment. In all the species it is either as broad as or broader than long, in which the genus resembles Bradyotes more than Podisma (= Pezotettix). But from Podisma it is distinguished by the pronotum being without any trace of a keel and emarginate behind, as well as by the strong prosternal tubercle, which is transverse and truncated; also,

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the metasternal lobes are much closer together in the female. The ovipositor is exserted, and the frontal costa is narrower above the antennæ and more projecting than in Podisma.

The species are closely related to each other. All have the same habit of living among stones in river-beds or shingle-slips, but they have different localities. The colours also are much the same, and the distinguishing marks of the species must be looked for in the sternal shield and the subgenital plate of the female.

Brachaspis petricolus. Plate II., figs. 13a, 13b.

Specimens from the bed of the Kowai River are slate-coloured, and the hind tibiæ are not so bright as in B. nivalis. The interspace between the mesosternal lobes in the female is rather wider than the lobes, and in the male it is about equal to the lobes. In the metasternum the interspace in the female is more than half the width of the interspace between the mesosternal lobes; in the male the metasternal lobes are subcontinuous. The subgenital plate in the female has two small rounded cusps, one on each side of the apex. The hind tibiae have seven or eight spines in the outer row.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Length of the hind femur, ♂ 8 ½−9 mm., ♀ 11 ½–13 ½ mm.

Brachaspis nivalis. Plate II., figs, 11a–11c.

Specimens from the shingle-slips of Mount Torlesse, from 3,000 ft. to 5,500 ft. above the sea. Collected by L. Cockayne.

The interspace between the mesosternal lobes in both male and female is about as wide as the lobes. The interspace between the metasternal lobes in the female is about half the width of the interspace between the mesosternal lobes, while in the male the metasternal lobes are subcontinuous. The subgenital plate in the female has two small but sharp cusps, one on each side of the apex. Occasionally the hind tibiae have only six spines in the outer row.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Length of the hind femur, ♂ il 1/2−12 ½ mm., ♀ 14 ½−17 mm.

There are two varieties :—

α. Greyish-brown or slate-blue, with the hind tibiæ and lower surfaces of the hind femora blue or sometimes red.

β. Ochreous-brown or stone-colour, with the hind tibiæ and lower surfaces of the hind femora rosy-red.

Brachaspis collinus. Plate II., fig. 12.

The interspace between the mesosternal lobes, in both male and female, is less than the width of the lobes. The interspace between the metasternal lobes in the female is more than half that of the interspace between the mesosternal lobes, and in the male it is about half the width of that space. The subgenital plate in the female has two strong and sharp

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cusps at the apex, one on each side. The metanotum and the first abdominal segment are roughened; not the first three abdominal segments, as stated in my former paper.

Brachaspis terrestris. Plate II., fig. 14.

The centre of the sternal shield in my only specimen has been destroyed by the pin, so that I cannot give a description of it. The subgenital plate in the female is rounded at the apex. The hind tibiæ have eight spines in the outer row.

Explanation of Plate II.
  • Fig. 1a. Miotopus diversus, supra-anal plate of male.

  • Fig. 1b. " subgenital plate of male.

  • Fig. 2a. Phaulacridium marginale, end of abdomen of male from above.

  • Fig. 2b. ", end of abdomen of male from the side.

  • Fig. 2c. ", subgenital plate of female.

  • Fig. 3a. Paprides furcifer, end of abdomen of male from above.

  • Fig. 3b. ", end of abdomen of male from the side.

  • Fig. 3c. ", subgenital plate of female.

  • Fig. 4. Paprides nitidus, subgenital plate of female.

  • Fig. 5. Paprides australis, subgenital plate of female.

  • Fig. 6. Paprides torquatus, subgenital plate of female.

  • Fig. 7. Paprides armillatus, subgenital plate of female.

  • Fig. 8a. Trigoniza directa, end of abdomen of male from above.

  • Fig. 8b. ", end of abdomen of male from the side.

  • Fig. 8c. ", subgenital plate of female.

  • Fig. 9. Trigoniza campestris, subgenital plate of female.

  • Fig. 10. Trigoniza rugosa, subgenital plate of female.

  • Fig. 11a. Brachaspis nivalis, end of abdomen of mate from above.

  • Fig. 11b. ", end of abdomen of male from the side.

  • Fig. 11b. ", subgenital plate of female.

  • Fig. 12. Brachaspis collinus, subgenital plate of female.

  • Fig. 13a. Brachaspis petricolus, subgenital plate of female.

  • Fig. 13b. ", sternal shield of female.

  • Fig. 14. Brachaspis terrestris, subgenital plate of female.