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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 73

Genus Mackopathus, Walker. — Group 4. — Macropathus maximus, sp. nov

Genus Mackopathus, Walker.

Group 4.

Macropathus maximus, sp. nov.

Male.—Body stout, convex, smooth, not shining. General page 146 colour rich tawny-brown, darker on the joints, and deepening to reddish-brown on the hind tibiæ; changing to yellow on the face, front tarsi, and greater part of antennæ. Head short, fore part vertical. Eyes prominent, rounded, and blackish-brown in colour, as is also the slightly-polished vertex. Maxillary palpi long and slender; the fourth joint somewhat longer than the third; the fifth appreciably longer, and distinctly subclavate. Labrum prominent; labial palpi clavate at the tip. Antennae extremely long and slender, being more than six times the length of the body; the first joint much thickened, the rest smooth and even, being entirely free from the minute knobs and spines that occur on the antennae of Macropathus fascifer. Prothorax well covered with shield, which is broadest behind, the lower border being slightly reflexed. Mesothorax and metathorax presenting broad, even segments; the eight abdominal dorsal segments much narrower, closely set, and gradually diminishing in size towards the extremity; cerci of moderate length and beset with fine hairs, especially towards the base. Abdomen short, slightly compressed. Legs slender, extremely long, and very spiny; hind femora greatly swollen towards the base; knees nodose. The four anterior femora have spines beneath, but the number is uncertain: thus, of the first pair the right-hand femur has four spines, and the left-hand femur five spines; of the pair behind, the right femur has two on one side and five on the other, whilst the left femur has three on each side; the hind femora, on their channelled posterior surface, have twelve to thirteen sharp spines, set well apart, on one side, and twenty-three to twenty-five small closely-set ones on the other side. So also with the tibiae: the first pair have each five extremely fine spines, or rather spurs, on each side, the apical ones being the longest; of the next or middle pair the right-hand tibia has three on one side and four on the other, whilst the left-hand tibia has three on one side and two on the other. The hind tibiæ are armed with a regular double series of sharp, slightly-decurved spines, exactly resembling the thorns on a rose-bush, those towards the base being extremely minute, and the apical or terminal ones very long; the right-hand tibia has twelve on one side and fourteen on the other, whilst the left-hand tibia has twelve on one side and eleven on the other. It will be seen, therefore, that the number of spines is a very uncertain character. The body, without the appendages, measures exactly 1in. in length and 0.4in. in its widest part; the hind femora measure 2in., and the hind tibiae 2.25in.; the cerci, which are slightly curved upwards, measure 0.3in.; and the antennae 6.25in.

I have made this Weta the representative of a fourth group of Walker's genus Macropathus. It may, however, be neces- page 147 sary to make it the type of an entirely new genus. It differs from the typical Macropathus in having a dull or plain, and not a shining, surface; and, like Deinacrida, it has ten dorsal segments behind the thoracic shield, instead of eight as in M. fascifer. It has fine and slender antennæ, in which respect also it comes near to Deinacrida; it has numerous spines on the four anterior femora, whereas M. fascifer has only two; and, whilst the latter has only four or five minute spurs on the inner edge of the hind femora, with ten on the outer edge, this form has both sides spiny in their whole length.

Hab. North Island.