Borneo to be Weird
December 29, 2009
Spotted at night while trekking in Borneo. This insect was quite large (around 12 cm), and was found at our camp in Maliau Basin. I have no idea what it is, but I’m guessing that it’s some type of stick insect. This individual is the only one of its kind that we saw during our three weeks in Malaysia. I would love to know what it is.
Maliau Basin, Sabah, Malaysia
Tropical species can often be very difficult to recognize, and diversity in the jungles often results in a physiognomy that is nearly unrecognizable from closely related species found in well documented areas like North America. We believe this is some species of Longhorned Orthopteran, but we will probably need some time to research that possibility. Meanwhile we are going to post your photos of this fascinating creature with the hopes that we can identify it online, or that our readership may be able to contribute to the identification.
We are also going to contact Eric Eaton to see if he is able to confirm that this is a Longhorned Orthopteran.
A Differing Opinion
I think that the insect on the picture should be some kind of Phasmatodea. If I look the third leg pair in the third picture then I can’t imagine how could he jump. The head is also like Phasmatodea’s have.
Thank you for posting my submission and replying as quickly as you did. I really enjoy your site, and I’m excited to see if someone will be able to identify this insect. Have a wonderful new year.
All the best,
Eric Eaton writes back
I’m “cc’ing” Piotr Naskrecki because the images are of a katydid, and Piotr is the most knowledgeable and helpful authority I know for this group of insects. He will likely know the genus at least. Wonderful creature!
Best wishes to you and Lisa for a very prosperous and stress-free 2010.
Katydid Expert Piotr Naskrecki provides an answer
This pretty animal is either the genus Olcinia or Sathrophyllia, both common
katydids in Borneo and peninsular Malaysia (hard to tell them apart without
seeing the wing venation.) They are members of the Pseudophyllinae:
Wow! That was ridiculously fast, Piotr:-) Thank you so much. I am getting a wonderful education from you. I have always liked katydids anyway, but you have only increased my fascination and wonder through your helpful comments and identifications. Thank you again, and happy new year to you!