Orthoptera of North Carolina
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View Tettigoniidae Members: NC Records

Atlanticus pachymerus (Burmeister, 1838) - Southern Protean Shieldback



Female

Male
Taxonomy
Family: Tettigoniidae Subfamily: Tettigoniinae Tribe: Drymadusini
Species Status: This species appears to be closely related to A. testaceus, with which it has sometimes been combined (e.g., SINA, 2017). However, it is treated as a separate species in the Orthopteran Species File (OSF, 2017) and is distinct in several characters, including the tegmina of the males, which are much shorter than in testacea (Rehn and Hebard, 1916b). We follow OSF and Rehn and Hebard in treating the two as separate species and use their names for specimens Rehn and Hebard collected in North Carolina. While there is some possibility that both species could occur in North Carolina, Rehn and Hebard did not know of any specimens of testaceus from farther south than Arlington, VA and we have not seen any specimens -- particularly males -- that show the characteristics of testaceus. Genetic analysis would be helpful in resolving the taxonomy of this genus. However, too few specimens have currently been examined and BOLD does not provide any trees based on bar-coding that are available to the public.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: BugGuide, Google Images                                                                                  
Comments: Average body length: 24.4 mm, NC males (n=4); 24.0, NC females (n=7) (Rehn and Hebard, 1916b). Length of pronotum: 9.1, NC males; 10.1, NC females. Length of hind femur: 20.6, NC males; 22.8, NC females.
Singing Behavior: Songs consist of high pitched buzzes that are either more-or-less continuous or regularly broken into short phrases; the separation between phrases is usually equal in length or shorter than the phrases themselves. The dominant pitch is about 15 kHz but the frequency range extends above 22 kHz. The lower portion of the song -- below 11 kHz -- sounds like a fluttery, pulsating buzz to human ears, if it can be heard at all.
Recording playback at normal speed.

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Recording playback at half-speed. (Slower, lower-pitched, usually more audible version.)

Download Video: "MP4"

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)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
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Status in North Carolina
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Image Gallery for Atlanticus pachymerus - Southern Protean Shieldback

Recorded by: Steve Hall and Savannah Hall
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Moore Co.
Comment: Individual not seen but the song is similar in pattern to several in the Macaulay Library (accessed 2021-06-10) that were recorded in Moore County
Recorded by: J. Oksnevad
Gaston Co.
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Recorded by: Julie Tuttle
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Male, with short, somewhat produced (pointed) tegmina and short hind femora
Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Randolph Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Montgomery Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Montgomery Co.
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Recorded by: E. Corey
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: ASH
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall
Brunswick Co.
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