Study Objects

The genus Afrophlaeoba consists of four flightless grasshopper species, each of which is endemic to a single mountain block (Jago 1983; Hochkirch 2001). Afrophlaeoba usambarica occurs in the East Usambara Mountains, Afrophlaeoba euthynota in the Uluguru Mountains, Afrophlaeoba nguru in the Nguru Mountains and Afrophlaeoba longicornis in the Rubeho and Ukaguru Mountains. The species have a continuous life cycle and adults can be found throughout the year (Jago 1983; Hochkirch 1996). They mainly inhabit grassy forest edges and clearings and seem to be graminivorous (Hochkirch 1996). All other species studied are endemics to the East Usambara Mountains or occur from this mountain block to the coast. They include distantly related taxa as well as a sister genus of Afrophlaeoba -Parodontomelus arachniformis - which is another graminicolous species that belongs to the Afrophlaeoba genus group. It occurs in the coastal forests of Tanzania, the East Usambara Mountains and in Zanzibar (Jago 1983). Rhainopomma usambaricum is distributed from the East Usambaras to the Shimba Hills in SouthEastern Kenya (Jago 1981). It occurs at forest edges, paths and clearings in dense and high foliage, where it mainly feeds on forbs (Hochkirch 1995). Parepistaurus pygmaeus is known from the East Usambaras and the Nguru Mountains (Green 1998), where it inhabits warm and sunny forest edges with low and dense vegetation (Hochkirch 1995). Ixalidium transiens is endemic to the East Usambara Mountains. It can be found among litter at the forest floor and feeds mainly on plant debris (Hochkirch 1995).

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