Can you identify the structures in the photo above (2 pts), their significance (2 pts), and the organism to which it belongs (order, family, genus, and species—2 pts each)? Comments will be held in moderation so everybody has a chance to participate, but there are early-bird bonus points on offer for those who get their answers in quickest. You’ve got the weekend to think about it. 🙂
p.s. Read the full rules for details on how (and how not) to earn points. Good luck!
© Ted C. MacRae 2014
7 thoughts on “Super Crop Challenge #16”
Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Phyllopalpus pulchellus (handsome trig or red-headed bush cricket)
The structures with large oval ends are the bush cricket’s maxillary palps. They are enlarged and spatulate, probably to facilitate Batesian mimicry of distasteful Brachinus ground beetles by resembling mandibles. In this image, you can also see the cricket’s mandibles, labrum, labial palps, and part of the gena and clypeus.
Looks to me to be Phyllopalpus pulchellus (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) – very common in my yard this year! And very nice looking!
Maxillary palp of Orthoptera: Grillidae: Trigonidiinae: Phyllopalpus sp.
Maxillary palp & labial palp: mouthparts, often carrying the sensory organs of touch, taste and smell. However, I really don’t recognize the animal on the picture… orthoptera maybe?
The prominently featured black structures are palps, used I think for sensing the palatability of potential food sources.
Order Orthoptera, Family Gryllidae, Phyllopalpus pulchellus
One of these fell out of my mailbox last week. 🙂
Maxillary & labial palps (plus the clypeus, labrum and mandibles), used for feeding and probably sexual selection judging by the expansion of the final segments, and they belong to a Red-headed Bush Trig (Phyllopalpus pulchellus; Gryllidae; Orthoptera).
I suspected this wouldn’t be too difficult a challenge, and indeed most who played were on the right track. These are, indeed, the maxillary palpi of Phyllopalpus pulchellus in the family Gryllidae (order Orthoptera), thought to serve a mimetic function (see next post for details) in addition to the normal sensory functions performed by the palps. I’ve gone back to my roots of requiring requested taxa to be explicitely and correctly named (including italics for genus and species names) in order to earn full points. With that, here are the final results:
Winner: Ben Coulter, 12 pts
2nd place: Morgan Jackson, 10 pts
3rd place: Troy Bartlett, 9 pts
4th place: Matt Bertone, 7 pts
4th place: Emmanuel Arriaga Varela, 7 pts
6th place: mushijo, 4 pts