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Gnominthus: a new cricket genus endemic from Papua New Guinea with ultrasonic calling song

A recent study described Gnominthus, a new genus of Eneopterinae crickets discovered in New Guinea Island (Papua New Guinea), abundant in the forest leak litter and showing a new example of crickets using ultrasonic calling songs.

The new species Gnominthus baitabagus was found near the city of Madang, in the North-East of New Guinea, during a recent expedition of “The Planet Reviewed” MNHN/Pronatura. The genus and species formal descriptions focus on general morphology, male and female genitalia and forewing venation. The large abundance of the species in the leaf litter in a locality considered as classic by many zoologists demonstrates that the diversity of crickets is still largely underestimated in New Guinea and remains largely unknown.


Bioacoustical analyses of the calling song of G. baitabagus (MNHN‑SO‑2015-18 to MNHN‑SO‑2015-24) show that each song consists of a short trill comprising 50 ± 8 syllables for a duration of 0.9 ± 0.1 s, with a period of 7.5 ± 0.4 s. Syllables last 9.2 ± 0.8 ms, with a period of 17.1 ± 1.9 ms. These crickets use ultrasonic calling signals, with a dominant frequency of 21.7 ± 0.43 kHz corresponding to the third harmonic of their spectrum. The lower harmonics f1 (ca. 7 kHz) and f2 (ca. 14 kHz), almost silent compared to the dominant peak, can however still be heard by the human ear.



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