Wednesday 15 October 2014

Three new species of Katydid from China.

Katydids of the genus Xizicus and its close relatives are found across eastern Asia, though the taxonomy of the group is currently somewhat confused, in part due to publications being published in different languages without translation. New species are being described within the group every year, with different authors using slightly different classifications. Several subgenera have been created within the genus, some of which have been promoted to full genus status, others being synonymized (a taxa described separately by two different authors is correctly called by the first name used, the second description becoming a junior synonym of the first; junior synonyms are not used subsequently, but are recorded so that taxonomists encountering them know what they refer to).

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 16 September 2014, Hanqiang Wang and Jun Jing of the School of Life Science at East China NormalUniversity in Shanghai, Xianwei Liu of the Shanghai Entomological Museum of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Kai Li, also of the School of Life Science at East China Normal University, revise the genus Xizicus, raising the number of subgenera within the genus from two (Xizicus and Paraxizicus) to four (Xizicus, Paraxizicus, Zangxizicus and Haploxizicus), and three new species are described.

The first new species described is placed in the subgenus Xizicus (Paraxizicus) and given the specific name fallax, meaning ‘similar’ due to its similarity to Xizicus (Paraxizicus) biprocerus. Xizicus (Paraxizicus) fallax is a yellowish Katydid with dark lines along its body, with females slightly larger than males. It is found in Guangxi and Jiangxi Provinces, China.

Xizicus (Paraxizicus) fallax (top) male and (bottom) female.Wang et al. (2014).

The second new species is placed in the new subgenus Xizicus (Zangxizicus), which derives from a combination of the genus name (Xizicus) and ‘Xizang’, the Chinese name for Tibet, and given the specific name quadrifascipes, meaning ‘four-stripes’, referring to markings on the hind femora. This species is described from a single male specimen from Motuo County in Xizang, at an altitude of 1060 m, which is yellow and brown in colour.

Xizicus (Zangxizicus) quadrifascipes, male specimen.Wang et al. (2014).

The third new species is also placed in the subgenus Xizicus (Zangxizicus), and given the specific name tibeticus, which derives from Tibet. This species is described from a single male from Chayu in Xizang, found at an altitude of 1900 m, and a single female from Motuo, at an altitude of 1100 m. Xizicus (Zangxizicus) tibeticus is a yellowish brown Katydid, the male slightly smaller than the female.

Xizicus (Zangxizicus) tibeticus(top) male and (bottom) female.Wang et al. (2014).

The second new subgenus erected is named Xizicus (Haploxizicus), in reference to the male anatomy (expand). This subgenus is erected to include five previously described species from China, previously placed in different taxa.

See also…

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