Mountain Katydid video



Patrick: This is a Mountain Katydid, Acripeza reticulata. We're very excited because although it's not an uncommon species in highlands, it is of significant note around here. Although they're katydids, they're very un-katydid-like. This is a female; she's got short wings that she can't fly with, but the most significant feature of them is that when they're disturbed, they raise those wings and they show their blue and red abdomen. So when she's walking along the ground, she just looks like an insignificant brown gumnut, but as soon as she's disturbed those colours appear and because they are distasteful to eat, that's the way they make predators know.

[to Simone]...and under the abdomen.

Simone: Yeah. It looks like dot painting.

Rowena: I've got Senecio pinnatifolius in here which is the food source for Mountain Katydids. And these guys love eating it. We've got females and the long slender one is a male. We're going to take them back to the museum and get them established if we can as a breeding colony. So it's important that we bring the food source back so we can propagate it. They're so gorgeous.

Patrick: Hopefully given how fat she is, she's mated and she'll lay eggs and we'll be able to keep them going in the laboratory. It's really interesting to find them here in quite reasonable numbers, which is a healthy sign, I think.

David: Now we've got the Mountain Katydids back here at Melbourne Museum, and essentially what we're trying to do here is try and recreate their environment. So that does involve a little bit of trial and error. So if you come in a bit closer...

...over here, we've got a few of them actually having a bit of a munch away on this stuff here. It's called an Everlasting Daisy which they seem to be quite enthusiastic about. This more kind of weedy-looking daisy here, this is called a Basalt Daisy.

We've mainly got females here. We've got one male, he's just up the back here. Females are feeling comfortable enough in their environment and they're pasting eggs... that's one indication that kind of tells us that we're on the right track. They've actually decided to paste some of their eggs on the front of the enclosure here. We're going to give them a bit of an artificial winter so we will actually put them in the fridge. Then we'll take them out and then they'll be in a warmer condition and hopefully that should stimulate the eggs to hatch for us. Which would be fantastic.


About this Video

Live Exhibits caught a number of Mountain Katydids on the recent Bush Blitz trip to Lake Condah.
Length: 2:48