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 Review: Exotic Insects (Play Visions)

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bmathison1972

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Country/State : Salt Lake City, UT
Age : 45
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PostSubject: Review: Exotic Insects (Play Visions)   Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:27 am

Review of the complete set of Exotic Insects by Play Visions (1998). This is one of five arthropod-centric sets of the taxonomically-diverse sets produced by Play Visions in the mid-late 1990s. It consists of eight unusual insects, consisting mostly of orthopteroids and hemipterans, a welcome change. Interestingly there are no beetles, perhaps because they also released an Exotic Beetles set (http://animaltoyforum.com/index.php?topic=1940.0).

This has been a Holy Grail set for me that was generously sold to be by STS member Beatrice (Froggie).

Most of the figures are unique. Comments below on whether or not other figures are made do not take into account the ‘Translucents’ version of this same set.

The common names below are what is marked on the figures; the Latin names are my choosing. Most of these were researched by members of the STS forum and editors of Animal Toy Wiki (TAI), but I have made a few changes/corrections to my liking. I have shared my IDs with the editors of those sites, so expect them to reflect my changes.

1. ‘assassin bug’, Sphagiastes ramentaceus. At the time of this writing, both STS and TAI list this as Gminatus australis. While the color is a good match for the latter, I believe my ID is also better in general morphology. This is the only assassin bug figure I am aware of!

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2. ‘praying mantis’, Blepharopsis mendica, nymph. STS/TAI had this as Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii, but I agree with Andre's comments below that B. mendica is a better match (nymph). This is clearly not a true praying mantis, but rather one of the flower mantids. Other species of flower and orchid mantids have been made, but I believe this is a unique one..

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3. ‘lantern bug’, Pyrops intricata. This is exciting! Most auchenorhynchan hempiterans as figures are cicadas! This is an STS/TAI identification and I think it’s sound.

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4. ‘velvet ant’, Dasymutilla occidentalis. I waffled back and forth between this species and D. vesta but finally settled on the STS/TAI identification of D. occidentalis (although it would look more like it if there was a terminal red macula on the abdomen as well). The only velvet ant figure I am aware of! Surprisingly too!

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5. ‘stick insect’, Phyllium bioculatum. This is an STS/TAI identification and I think I agree with it, based on the shape of the abdomen (Andre can correct me if I am wrong). Most figures of leaf insects represent P. giganteum, but the Insect Directory figure by Kabaya is apparently P. bioculatum.

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6. ‘bush cricket’, Aegimia elongata. STS/TAI have this identified as Chondroderella, but after snooping I am leaning more towards Aegimia based on the wing shape. However, both potential IDs are tentative as I am not a specialist of Orthoptera, especially anything from outside the U.S. Other species of katydids have been made by Yujin (Insects of Japan) and Cadbury (Yowies).

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7. ‘grasshopper’, Chromacris speciosa, (nymph). This is another STS/TAI identification and it seems to be sound. This is one of the lubbers; other species of lubbers have been made by Safari LTD and Furuta.

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8. ‘thorn bug’, Umbonia crassicornis. This is my ID. There are two other treehopper figures, one is by Shapeways that I specifically painted to represent U. crassicornis, and another by New Ray that at least represents the same genus.

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widukind

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Country/State : Germany
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PostSubject: Re: Review: Exotic Insects (Play Visions)   Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:41 am

A nice set that i have too :)

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Bowhead Whale

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Country/State : Canada
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PostSubject: Re: Review: Exotic Insects (Play Visions)   Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:50 am

Incredible. It is the first time I see a toy made of a lantern bug, as well as a thorn bug.
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SUSANNE
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PostSubject: Re: Review: Exotic Insects (Play Visions)   Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:39 am

It is an absolutely wonderful set cheers Applause cheers

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Roger
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PostSubject: Re: Review: Exotic Insects (Play Visions)   Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:49 pm

Play Visions loved the word "Exotic" to use in some of their sets. To be fair with the company, and your excellent review shows it, the name is quite adjusted, these keep being exotic after all these years. Yes, they are not only exotic in Nature as species but they keep being quite rare as toys. Very Happy

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