Monday, June 11, 2018

[Entomology • 2018] Phasmomantella gen. nov. • A Spectacular New Genus of Praying Mantis (Mantodea, Mantidae, Deroplatyinae) from southern Central Vietnam; Phasmomantella nuichuana & P. pallida


 Phasmomantella nuichuana Vermeersch, 2018 


Abstract. 
The new genus Phasmomantella gen. nov. is created to accommodate the new species Phasmomantella nuichuana gen. et sp. nov. described from five adult females from Núi Chúa National Park in southern Central Vietnam. A second species, Phasmomantella pallida (Roy, 2001) gen. et comb. nov., is transferred from Euchomenella where it was originally described based on a single male specimen from the Nha Trang region in the Khánh Hòa Province. Phasmomantella gen. nov. is placed in the tribe Euchomenellini of the subfamily Deroplatyinae. A comprehensive diagnosis and detailed descriptions are presented along with high-resolution photographs, measurements and a distribution map. The standardised measurements are illustrated and a new key is proposed for the tribe Euchomenellini. The unique biogeography and habitats of the collection site within Núi Chúa National Park are discussed in the light of possible endemism and importance for nature conservation. 

Keywords: Núi Chúa National Park, nuichuana, pallida, stick mantis, Global Taxonomic Initiative. 


Order Mantodea, Burmeister, 1838

 Family Mantidae Burmeister, 1838 
Subfamily Deroplatyinae Westwood, 1889 

Tribe Euchomenellini Giglio-Tos, 1916

Tagalomantis (Hebard, 1920), Indomenella (Roy, 2008), Euchomenella (Giglio-Tos, 1916) & Phasmomantella gen. nov. 


Fig. 3. Phasmomantella nuichuana gen. et sp. nov., holotype, ♀.
A. Habitus, dorsal view. B. Habitus, ventral view. C. Head, frontal view. D. Left anterior leg, anterior view. C–D not to scale.

Genus Phasmomantella gen. nov.

Etymology The genus name is formed by the combination of ‘Phasmo-’ (Latin: Phasma) meaning ‘ghost, apparition, spectre’, and referring to the Phasmatodea (stick insects) with which the new genus shares a slender and stick-like appearance, and ‘-mantella’ (Latin) which is the diminutive of ‘mantis’ The proposed genus name also indirectly refers to the unrelated South American genus Phasmomantis which is similar in general appearance. It is feminine in gender.

Species included and distribution
 Phasmomantella nuichuana gen. et sp. nov. (Núi Chúa National Park, Vietnam) 
Phasmomantella pallida (Roy, 2001) gen. et comb. nov. (Nha Trang, Vietnam)


Phasmomantella nuichuana gen. et sp. nov.

Diagnosis Very large species with long and slender pronotum and relatively broad abdomen in females. Head broader than high with large globular eyes. Antennae filiform. Pronotum very finely denticulate along the margins, with more prominent teeth in the prozone, teeth fading away towards the posterior end of the metazone. Medial keel embedded in a longitudinal groove in the prozone but elevated in the metazone. Cervical region with two ventral sclerites. Profemora with four discoidal spines, 15 anteroventral spines and four posteroventral spines. Protibiae with 13 or 14 (rarely 15) anteroventral spines (most proximal spine usually much smaller than the others) and seven posteroventral spines. Tegmina cover about half the PPBL in females. Male unknown.

 Etymology The species epithet “nuichuana” refers to the original collection locality, Núi Chúa N.P. in southern Central Vietnam.  

Distribution Currently recorded only from Núi Chúa N.P. in Ninh Thuan Province, southern Central Vietnam (Fig. 6).


Phasmomantella pallida (Roy, 2001) gen. et comb. nov. 

Diagnosis Species with long and slender pronotum. Head broader than high, with large globular eyes. Antennae filiform. Pronotum entirely smooth along the margins. Medial keel embedded in a longitudinal groove in the prozone but elevated in the metazone. Profemora with four discoidal spines, 15 anteroventral spines and four posteroventral spines. Protibiae with 12 anteroventral spines and seven posteroventral spines. Tegmina and alae entirely hyaline, reaching apex of abdomen in males. Female unknown.

 Etymology The specific epithet ‘pallida’ was proposed by Roy (2001) when he described the species as Euchomenella pallida since the colouration of the type was uniformly beige and far more pale than in any other species belonging to that genus. By analogy with Phasmomantella nuichuana gen. et sp. nov., it is now clear that the live colouration is green, turning to beige when pigmentation is lost during conservation. 

Distribution Currently recorded only from Nha Trang in Khánh Hòa Province, southern Central Vietnam. 


 Xavier H.C. Vermeersch. 2018. Phasmomantella gen. nov., A Spectacular New Genus of Praying Mantis from southern Central Vietnam (Mantodea, Mantidae, Deroplatyinae, Euchomenellini). European Journal of Taxonomy. 442; 1–17.  DOI:  10.5852/ejt.2018.442

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