15 September 2009

A Handsome Range Extension?

While walking our trails this afternoon in North Liberty, St. Joseph County, Indiana, I heard an insect song that I didn't recognize. Imagine my surprise when I tracked down the source of this song only to find a Handsome Trig (Phyllopalpus pulchellus)!! What a coincidence... I blogged about finding this species further south in Indiana just yesterday. I later saw another individual on our property, and I think I heard more, so we may have a healthy population of this species.

From the information that I can find, this species hasn't been documented in the northern 1/3 of Indiana. Below is a range map from Elliott and Hershberber's The Songs of Insects.

I tried to get video of the Handsome Trig calling, but it isn't the easiest insect to photograph, let alone video. Each time that I got the camera close, he would scamper to the underside of the blackberry leaf. I guess those constantly moving palps are pretty darn good at sensing vibrations and predators.


Scott said...

I easily found more Handsome Trigs over at Potato Creek State Park this evening. I saw an adult and a juvenile, both on blackberry, and heard at least one more. They seem to be common around here!

Beth said...

Hi Scott, I'm delighted that you found my blog and my husband's blog. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Swamp Angel, and it was made even better with your expertise and knowledge. I look forward to seeing your writeup of the visit. What a beautiful place!

All my best,

Anonymous said...

I might have to re-assign your blog to the "Insects & Invertebrates" section of my blogroll :)

Range extensions are always pretty exciting. Missouri has great potential for them, due to its ecotonal position straddling the eastern forest and central grassland biomes.


Scott said...

Thanks Beth, and thanks for visiting my blog as well. I should have my post on Swamp Angel finished tonight or tomorrow.

Scott said...

Whoa, Ted. I certainly wouldn't go that far! I am fascinated by the singing insects, but I don't know much about them yet. I'm definitely still in the very early stages of learning the species and more about them. I wish I had better references, as all I really have right now is The Songs of Insects and resources I can find online. If you would recommend any books/keys, let me know.