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Short Notes on Nature Singapore

26 October 2014 | Moisture-loving Grasshoppers | Subfamily Oxyinae |

Oxyinae is subfamily of grasshoppers commonly refer to as moisture-loving grasshoppers. A publication on the Orthoptera (an Order that include grasshoppers) at Bidadari Cemetery had pictures of 4 moisture-loving grasshoppers lined up side by side in page 347 of the article. After browsing through 6 articles written by Ming Kai between 2010 and 2012 on the Order Orthoptera, I was quite certain that there were only 4 species of moisture-loving grasshoppers in Singapore at this point.

Of the 4 grasshoppers, I had picture of 3 of them except Oxya hyla. To me, Gesonula mundata was the easiest to identify. This particular grasshopper tend to gather in large numbers on the broad leaf of the Taro (Colocasia esculenta), which is its host plant. Usually, the nymphs of Gesonula mundata at different stages could be found together with the adults on the same leaf. Although the Taro appeared to tolerate dry condition, its native habitat is along stream or wetland.

photo photo photo photo

As for Oxya japonica, it could be easily confused with Gesonula mundata. For over a year, I was having a hard time distinguishing between the correct names for the two of them. After ploughing through their pictures in the published articles for another round recently, I am now quite certain that the one found munching on the leaf of the Taro is Gesonula mundata.

photo photo The distinguishing feature between Oxya japonica (left picture) and Pseudoxya diminuta (right picture) is their jumping legs. In Oxya japonica, the femur (swollen part) of the jumping leg is green in colour while that of Pseudoxya diminuta is light brown with dark bands. As both species do not tend to congregate on a certain plant, I have no idea on their host plants or their population size. Hence, it is also difficult to find out how their nymphs look like.

Hopefully, I will be able to get some pictures of Oxya hyla to complete my pictorial set of the Oxyinae in Singapore. On the other hand, I have uploaded my Orthoptera photo collections yesterday.

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