What is this insect?
July 28, 2009
I took this photo at Poring Hot Springs in Sabah, Borneo. It was about 15 cm long, at least half of that being the antennae.
When it comes to tropical insects, identification for us is often a c%#p-shoot. With that said, we are relatively certain that this is an Orthopteran, and more specifically, one of the Long Horned Orthopterans in the suborder Ensifera, and probably one of the Katydids in the family Tettigoniidae. We would like a second opinion on that and perhaps one of our readers will be able to come up with a genus and species. Karl, are you busy?
Not unexpectedly, Borneo is blessed with an impressive diversity of katydids (Tettigoniidae), most of them poorly documented on the internet. My hunch is that Susan’s bug is in the genus Pseudophyllus which has many of the right characteristics (large size, green color and, at least sometimes, dorsovdentral compression). Most species also have the shoulder spots evident in Susan’s photo, although I couldn’t find any images that looked quite right. It is a relatively small genus with at least three representatives on Borneo (P. dyaka, P. colosseus and P. hercules). Nothing else I found came close, but if I find the time I may try to look again. Regards.
July 29, 2009
Wow, thanks! Well, i’m thrilled about that because that’s what I thought it was but a naturalist friend of mine said it couldn’t possibly be a katydid. It’s always so gratifying to be vindicated. LOL! BTW, did this go up on the blog? Don’t you think he’s beautiful? Anyway, I’ll look forward to the other opinions, too.
Thanks again, Daniel.
Update: January 24, 2013
We just received a comment that suggested the genus Phyllozelus, and this image on FlickR looks quite close.