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TaxonomyBrowse
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Genus Atlanticus - Eastern Shieldbacks

ghpr - Atlanticus - female Cricket? From Slate Run Metropark - Atlanticus - female KAtydid - Atlanticus testaceus - female Atlanticus sp? - Atlanticus Katydid? - Atlanticus - male Atlanticus davisi - male Atlanticus davisi - male Atlanticus americanus - female
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 Tettigoniidae (Katydids)
Subfamily Tettigoniinae (Shield-backed Katydids)
Genus Atlanticus (Eastern Shieldbacks)
Other Common Names
Short-legged Shield-back Katydid (A. testacea), Eastern Shieldbacks. See SINA for a list of species and common names.
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Atlanticus Scudder, 1894
Explanation of Names
Latin Atlanticus is from Greek Atlantikos (Ατλαντικο'ς), pertaining to the Titan Atlas, or the Atlas Mountains in North Africa (1).
Numbers
13 spp. in our area(2), 23 spp. total(3)
Size
ca. 25-35 mm body length, ♀♀ incl. ovipositor up to 50 mm
Identification
Males have front wings (tegmina) shorter than pronotum. Female wings vestigial and covered by pronotum. Female has long, sword-like ovipositor. Both male and female of all species are flightless.
Identification of species is challenging. For starters, refer to these illustrations from Rehn and Hebard (1916):

Note that the taxonomy used in that reference is not completely up-to-date.
Range
e. NA; c. & e. Asia(3) (apparently the only widespread genus of shield-backs in the east)
Habitat
Dry deciduous and mixed woodlands: on ground and in low vegetation
Season
June-October (adults, n. US); May-November (A. gibbosus, FL)
in NC(4):
A. americanus--Piedmont, Sandhills, June-July; Mountains July-Sept.
A. gibbosus: Mountains?
A. monticola--Mountains, July-Sept.
A. pachymerus--Piedmont, Coastal Plain, June-August
Food
Omnivorous, eat other insects (living and dead), fruits, leaves, flowers of a variety of vegetation.
Life Cycle
Eggs overwinter in plant tissue or soil, one generation per year; males sing(5)
Remarks
Said to be strong biters
Print References
The Century Dictionary--entry for Atlantic, etc. (1)
(6) illustrations of 2 spp. from MI
Rehn JAG, Hebard M. 1916. Studies in American Tettigoniidae (Orthoptera). VII. A revision of the species of the genus Atlanticus (Decticinae). Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 42: 33-99. pl. 6-8. Full text [4995 KB]
Internet References
SINA--several species accounts with photos, maps, songs
Works Cited
1.The Century Dictionary: an encyclopedic lexicon of the English language
2.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
3.Orthoptera Species File Online
4.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
5.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.
6.Orthoptera of Michigan
Roger Bland. 2003. Michigan State University Extension.