Mantophasmatidae

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Mantophasmatidae
Temporal range: Jurassic - Recent
Mantophasma zephyra Zompro et al 2002.jpg
Mantophasma zephyra Zompro et al., 2002
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Subclass:
Infraclass:
Superorder:
Order:
Crampton, 1915
Suborder:
Mantophasmatodea
Family:
Mantophasmatidae
Subfamilies, tribes

see text

Mantophasmatidae is a family of carnivorous wingless insects within the order Notoptera, which was discovered in Africa in 2001.[2][3] Originally, the group was regarded as an order in its own right, and named Mantophasmatodea, but, using recent evidence indicating a sister group relationship with Grylloblattidae (formerly classified in the order Grylloblattodea),[4][5] Arillo and Engel have combined the two groups into a single order, Notoptera.[1]

Overview[edit]

The most common vernacular name for this order is gladiators, although they also are called rock crawlers, heelwalkers, mantophasmids, and colloquially, mantos.[6] Their modern centre of endemism is western South Africa and Namibia (Brandberg Massif),[7] although a relict population, and Eocene fossils suggest a wider ancient distribution.

Mantophasmatodea are wingless even as adults, making them relatively difficult to identify. They resemble a cross between praying mantids and phasmids, and molecular evidence indicates that they are most closely related to the equally enigmatic group Grylloblattodea.[4][5] Initially, the gladiators were described from old museum specimens that originally were found in Namibia (Mantophasma zephyrum) and Tanzania (M. subsolanum), and from a 45-million-year-old specimen of Baltic amber (Raptophasma kerneggeri).

Live specimens were found in Namibia by an international expedition in early 2002; Tyrannophasma gladiator was found on the Brandberg Massif, and Mantophasma zephyrum was found on the Erongoberg Massif.[8]

Since then, a number of new genera and species have been discovered, the most recent being two new genera, Kuboesphasma and Minutophasma, each with a single species, described from Richtersveld in South Africa in 2018.[9]

Biology[edit]

Mantophasmatids are wingless carnivores. During courtship, they communicate using vibrations transmitted through the ground or substrate.[10]

Classification[edit]

The most recent classification[9] recognizes numerous genera, including fossils:

Some taxonomists assign full family status to the subfamilies and tribes, and sub-ordinal status to the family. In total there are 21 extant species described.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Arillo, A. & M. Engel (2006) Rock Crawlers in Baltic Amber (Notoptera: Mantophasmatodea). American Museum Novitates 3539:1-10
  2. ^ K.-D. Klass, O. Zompro, N.P. Kristensen, J. Adis. Mantophasmatodea: a new insect order with extant members in the afrotropics Science, 296 (2002), pp. 1456–1459
  3. ^ Adis, J., O. Zompro, E. Moombolah-Goagoses, and E. Marais. 2002. Gladiators: A new order of insect. Scientific American 287:60-65.
  4. ^ a b Terry, M.D., and M.F. Whiting. 2005. Mantophasmatodea and phylogeny of the lower neopterous insects. Cladistics 21(3): 240–257.
  5. ^ a b S. L. Cameron, S. C. Barker & M. F. Whiting (2006). "Mitochondrial genomics and the new insect order Mantophasmatodea". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 38 (1): 274–279. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.09.020. PMID 16321547.
  6. ^ "Biodiversity Explorer: Mantophasmatodea". Iziko. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  7. ^ Zompro, O.; Adis, J.; Weitschat, W. (2002). "A review of the order Mantophasmatodea (Insecta)". Zoologischer Anzeiger. 241: 269–279.
  8. ^ Zompro, O.; Adis, J.; Bragg, P.E.; Naskrecki, P.; Meakin, K.; Wittneben, M.; Saxe, V. (2003). "A new genus and species of Mantophasmatidae (Insecta: Mantophasmatodea) from the Brandberg Massif, Namibia, with notes on behaviour". Cimbebasia. 19: 13–24.
  9. ^ a b c Wipfler, B; Theska, T; Predel, R (2018). "Mantophasmatodea from the Richtersveld in South Africa with description of two new genera and species". ZooKeys. 746: 137–160. doi:10.3897/zookeys.746.14885. PMC 5904538.
  10. ^ Randall, J. A. (2014). "Vibrational Communication: Spiders to Kangaroo Rats". Biocommunication of Animals: 103–133.
  11. ^ Eberhard, MJB, MD Picker and KD Klass. (2011). Sympatry in Mantophasmatodea, with the description of a new species and phylogenetic considerations. Organisms Diversity & Evolution 11(1): 43-59.[1]

External links[edit]