Subject:  Three bugs to identify
Geographic location of the bug:  Kayakoy village, Turkey (near Fethiye)- taken in May
Date: 11/01/2017
Time: 08:27 PM EDT
Could you please help me identify these three bugs I snapped while walking around the deserted village of Kayakoy in the hills between Fethiye and Oludeniz. (These are cropped images- the last two are incredibly well camouflaged in the full shots.)
How you want your letter signed:  Nick

Saddlebacked Bush Cricket

Dear Nick,
Your first image is of a Saddlebacked Bush Cricket in the genus Ephippiger, and your second image is of a Mantid.  Your third image is an Orthopteran, but the image is so closely cropped that you have eliminated helpful features, including the antennae and the legs.  It might be a predatory Bush Cricket,
Saga pedo, a species profiled on Alamy, and another member of the genus Saga natoliae, is reported from Turkey and is pictured on The Smaller Majority. Saga pedo is also pictured on Wonders at our Feet where it states:  “Description: It is a wingless bush cricket, with the body size of up to 12 centimetres (4.7 in), which makes it one of the largest European insects. It has strong fore and mid legs, equipped with sharp spines. Biology : Colloquially known as the predatory bush cricket, it is uncommon among its kind due to its carnivorous lifestyle, most often preying on smaller insects, with a known tendency towards cannibalism as well. When these animals are hunting, they move about, catching their prey by suddenly leaping on them and grabbing them with their legs. Their prey is usually killed by biting into the throat, and eating is done at capture. Saga pedo is active at dusk and during nighttime, with activity slowly expanding through the day at the end of the season.   Adults are eaten by birds, insectivores, rodents, lizards, frogs, and toads. Nymphs are eaten by spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and preying insects.  The female attains sexual maturity three two four weeks after hatching and starts laying eggs. A single egg is deposited by stabbing the long, sharp ovipositor into the soil at a suitable site.The female will lay from twenty- five to eighty eggs. Development depends largely on the ambient temperature. At 20°C or more, the eggs start to develop immediately, the nymphs hatching after approximately 40 to 85 days (again depending on the temperature). At colder conditions, the eggs enter diapause, which is a delay in development and can result in the eggs remaining buried for up to five years (mostly two to three). After hatching, which occurs around May, the nymphs go through six or seven instars before attaining sexual maturity, and live for four to six months after that.  Saga pedo is also uncommon in that it mostly reproduces asexually, with parthenogenesis. The population therefore appears to consist solely of females and there is no reliable record of a male of this species. They also have the largest number of chromosomes among members of the genus Saga – 68 – and are probably tetraploid.”  We are going to contact Piotr Naskrecki, a Katydid expert, to get his input.  Can you please send the uncropped image before we attempt any further research?

Predatory Bush Cricket

Location: Kayakoy village, Turkey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *