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Species Atlanticus testaceus - Protean Shieldback

Shieldback - Atlanticus testaceus - female KAtydid - Atlanticus testaceus - female True bug maybe??? - Atlanticus testaceus - male Atlanticus testaceus - male Protean Shieldback in Oak Barrens - Atlanticus testaceus - female Katydid near marsh - Atlanticus testaceus - male Atlanticus testaceus - male Shieldback Katydid - Atlanticus testaceus - male
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)
Species testaceus (Protean Shieldback)
Other Common Names
Short-legged Shield-bearer
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Engoniaspis testacea S.H. Scudder, 1901. Type locality: "possibly Missouri"
Atlanticus testaceus (S.H. Scudder) J.A.G. Rehn & Hebard, 1916
Explanation of Names
An older name, Atlanticus pachymerus, has long been confused with this insect, but refers to a more southern species that differs in having, longer more slender legs, has a differently shaped subgenital plate in the females, and shorter wings, in the males. The two species were considered different by Rehn & Hebard, and are separated as distinct on theOrthoptera Species File. They appear to be combined at Singing Insects of North America.
body length 18-25 mm, up to approximately 45 mm for female, including ovipositor
Forewings (tegmina) of male are about half (or greater) than length of the pronotum.
Midwestern and eastern United States from the Great Lakes and New York (including southern Ontario, Canada) southward into Kentucky and Virginia, apparently not or rarely found west of the Mississippi River. Southward and in Ozarks replaced by (or perhaps blends into?) A. pachymerus.
Adults appear, often in abundance, in the later half of June and July, with some surviving until frost. Perhaps overwinters as nymphs, but this needs verification.
Predator and scavenger of other insects, but will also feed on live vegitation
See Also
and other species in the Genus Atlanticus
Print References
Brimley, p. 20 (1)
Milne, p. 430, fig. 255 (2)
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. Available as a PDF file from Singing Insects of North America [4995 KB]
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
2.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.