Orthoptera of North Carolina
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View Tettigoniidae Members: NC Records

Amblycorypha arenicola Walker, 2004 - Sandhill Virtuoso Katydid

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Family: Tettigoniidae Subfamily: Phaneropterinae Tribe: Amblycoryphini
Comments: One of fourteen species in this genus that occur in North America (Cigliano et al., accessed 2021-10-09). Seven species have been recorded in North Carolina.
Species Status: In Walker's description of Amblycorypha arenicola, he placed it in the Uhleri Species Group, which in North Carolina also includes longinicta
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: SINA, BugGuide, Google ImagesTechnical Description, Adults/Nymphs: Walker (2006)SINA 002a.htm                                                                                  
Comments: Males of the Uhleri Species Group are characterized by their possession of a pair of dark spots on the lateral carina of the pronotum (Walker, 2006). Arenicola and longinicta are probably indistinguishable in terms of color and pattern but differ in size and other structural features.
Forewing Length: 28-29 mm (Walker, 2006)
Structural Features: Like other members of the Uhleri Group, arenicola has a deep humeral sinus on the lateral face of the pronotum and each metasternal lobe is longer than wide (Walker, 2006). Arenicola differs from longinicta primarily in size. For males, the following measurements are diagnostic for arenicola: pronotal length 5.6 mm, width 4.1; tegminal length 28, width 8.5; hind femur length 26; hindwing exposure 6.5. Females are similar in size but the hind femur is longer and exceeds the tip of the tegmina. Males have more extensive stridulatory fields than longinicta and females have longer, straighter ovipositors with smaller but more numerous teeth (see illustrations in Walker, 2006).
Singing Behavior: Members of the Uhleri Species Group have some of the most complex songs among the singing Orthopterans. Songs typically consist of sequences of four syllable types, with the combinations differing between the species (Walker, 2006).
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Adult Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

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Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Associated with xeric to mesic, fire-maintained sandhill scrub communities. Stands with xerophytic oaks may be preferred, although individuals can occasionally be found in herb-dominated sandhill communities. In the latter habitats, arenicola can be found alongside longinicta (Walker, 2006).
Observation Methods: Probably most easily detected by the male songs.
Adult Phenology:
See also Habitat Account for Xeric-Mesic, Sandy Woodlands and Scrub
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S2S3
State Protection: