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Species Diestrammena japanica - Japanese Camel Cricket

Greenhouse Camel Cricket - First NJ Datapoint - Diestrammena japanica - female Diestrammena asynamora ? - Diestrammena japanica - male Diestrammena asynamora or japanica? - Diestrammena japanica Japanese Camel Cricket - Diestrammena japanica Diestrammena japanica - female Diestrammena japanica - male Diestrammena japanica - male Diestrammena japanica
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids)
Suborder Ensifera (Long-horned Orthoptera)
Infraorder Tettigoniidea (Katydids, Camel Crickets, and relatives)
Family Rhaphidophoridae (Camel Crickets)
Subfamily Aemodogryllinae
Genus Diestrammena
Species japanica (Japanese Camel Cricket)
Other Common Names
Conservatory Camel Cricket
Asiatic Camel Cricket
Madara-Kamado-Uma (spotted kitchen range horse, in Japanese)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Locusta (Rhaphidophorus) marmorata DeHaan, 1842. ?Described from Japan. Invalid name, preoccupied [non Locusta marmorata T.W. Harris, 1841 (Acrididae, Oedipodinae)].
Diestrammena marmorata (DeHaan) Griffini, 1912
Diestrammena japanica Blatchley, 1920. Replacement name for D. marmorata DeHaan
Diestrammena naganoensis Mori, 1981. Type locality: Tamdao, Vinh Phu Province, North Vietnam
Diestrammena (Diestrammena) japanica Blatchley. M. Sugimoto & Ichikawa, 2003
Explanation of Names
This name was used mistakenly for D. asynamora in Europe up until 1914 and in the United States until 1944. Ironically it appears that the real D. japanica is now well established in the area roughly surrounding New York City. Due to confusion with D. asynamora it is unclear when it first came to be found in the United States, but perhaps only relatively recently. An examination of museum specimens might prove enlightening as to just when and where it came to be in the country.

The original description of the name D. japonica was explicitly stated by Blatchley to be a replacement name for D. marmorata when he first published the name - he wrote:
"This is the species hitherto known in literature as Diestrammena marmorata DeHaan (1843, 217). It was described by him as Locusta marmorata and is therefore a primary homonym of Locusta (Scirtetica) marmorata Harris (1841, 145). A new specific name is therefore necessary for DeHaan's insect."

This is important, because in the same description, Blatchley went on to illustrate and describe what are really Diestrammena asynamora. It has generally been agreed that, even though the insects in hand were misidentified, the primary intent of the name D. japanica was to replace D. marmorata (which was an invalid name), and thus the name D. japanica goes with the insect that actually was properly represented by the name "marmorata", and not with the misidentified insect then found in North America. This situation caused a great deal of confusion as well as some disagreement for a time, but it is was outlined well by J.A.G. Rehn in 1944 (1).
Identification
Very similar to D. asynamora, but differing in certain details of leg armature and genitalia. However, D. japanica is easily distinguished by the more contrasting and broken color pattern, which has dark areas of different shapes in different locations. Most noticeable are perhaps the dark markings of the thorax, where there are markings mid-dorsally that are lacking in the other species.
Range
Apparently originally native to Japan, and/or the Indochina Peninsula in southern Asia. Introduced into the northeastern U.S. (perhaps from Vietnam???), and now found in states surrounding New York City.
Habitat
Probably favoring the same sort of humid dark places as D. asynamora, such as cellars, basements, wells, pump houses, etc. Apparently occasionally wandering into homes.
Season
Likely all growth stages may be present year-round; however, records imply that adults are found mostly in summer and autumn.
Food
Probably an omnivorous scavenger.
Internet References
1) Rehn, J.A.G. 1944. 'The Rhaphidophorid Tachycines asynamorus Adelung in America (Orthoptera, Grylacrididae, Rhaphidophorinae)'; Entomological News 55(2): 36
pinned specimens from Deutsche Orthopteren Sammlungen on SysTax