Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 149–154 | Cite as

Rediscovery of the ghost bush-cricket Roeseliana oporina (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) in Central Spain

  • Jorge Gutiérrez-RodríguezEmail author
  • Mario García-París


Roeseliana oporina (Bolívar in An Soc Esp Hist Nat 16:86–114, 1887), the ghost bush-cricket, became a mystery shortly after its original description in Central Spain. There was initial confusion about its type locality, original collector and failure to locate the species in 1890. More than 50 years after, the type specimens of Platycleis oporina were revised, but damage of the terminal segments of the male type prevented further taxonomic discussions. Since then the species was treated as “incertae sedis” and subsequently ignored. We recently rediscovered a living population of R. oporina near the type locality. The specimens found permitted the evaluation of its taxonomic status and to validate the veracity of the earlier findings. The morphological characters of the adult specimens fit precisely those of Bolívar’s description and match those of the type specimens. General appearance of R. oporina resembles that of R. azami and R. roeselii. However, the shape and distribution of spines on the branches of titillators, allow for a clear distinction from R. azami as well as from all other European species of Roeseliana. The known distribution of R. oporina is very restricted and subjected to intense man-made alterations, mostly due to the lack of knowledge of the presence of the species and the subsequent absence of conservation management. From a conservation perspective, it is important to declare “Critically Endangered-Possibly Extinct” species not seen for years, because ignoring them, or simply treating them as fully extinct not only will discourage searchers, but will facilitate the opening for development of habitat where the species could have been present, as was the case for R. oporina.


Conservation Extinct species Taxonomy Iberian Peninsula Red lists 



We thank I. Acevedo, P. Aleixandre, J. L. Gutiérrez, L. Gutiérrez, D. Osca, and E. Recuero for help collecting samples. We are thankful to A. Hochkirch and one anonymous reviewer for helpful comments and suggestions that improved the manuscript. JGR was supported by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas of Spain (CSIC) and the European Social Fund (ESF) (JAE-pre PhD fellowship).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Gutiérrez-Rodríguez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mario García-París
    • 1
  1. 1.Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, MNCN-CSICMadridSpain

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