Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 43–59 | Cite as

Sympatry in Mantophasmatodea, with the description of a new species and phylogenetic considerations

  • Monika J. B. EberhardEmail author
  • Mike D. Picker
  • Klaus-Dieter Klass
Original Article


We describe a new genus of Mantophasmatodea, Viridiphasma gen. n. (Austrophasmatidae), represented by one new species, V. clanwilliamense sp. n. The new species differs from previously described species in features of the male and female postabdomen including the genitalia, in morphometrics and details of colouration. The new species occurs syntopically with another austrophasmatid, Karoophasma biedouwense Klass et al., 2003; this is the first well-documented case of sympatry of two mantophasmatodean species. We therefore survey the morphological differences between these two species, document the absence of any morphological evidence of hybridisation, and also report on differences in life history. While a previous molecular phylogeny using COI and 16S genes ambiguously placed V. clanwilliamense sp. n. near the base of Austrophasmatidae (but not as sister to all other Austrophasmatidae), morphological characters strongly support V. clanwilliamense sp. n. to be the sister taxon of a clade comprising all remaining Austrophasmatidae. This phylogenetic placement challenges the current hypothesis of a linear north-to-south diversification of Austrophasmatidae.


Austrophasmatidae Fynbos Morphology Sympatry Syntopy Phylogeny 




antenna length


body length


distance between eye and mandibular articulation


eye height


eye length


gena height


head width


interocular width


mesonotum length


metafemur length


metanotum length


metatibia length


profemur length


pronotum length


pronotum width


protibia length


minimum length of tergum X


maximum length of tergum X


width of tergum X


thorax length

Parts of postabdomen


anterior apodeme/tendon of abdominal laterocoxosternum VIII


dorsal projection of cercus


gonapophysis VIII


gonapophysis IX


sclerotization of gonapophysis IX


sclerite of posterior intervalvula


abdominal laterocoxosternum VIII (subgenital plate)


phallic sclerites 1–8


phallic hook, long


phallic hook, short


phallic lobe, internal


spermathecal bulb


spermathecal tube



Natural history museums


Museum für Tierkunde, Dresden


South African Museum, Cape Town



We would like to thank S. H. Eberhard for providing photographs for Fig. 1. Cape Nature is thanked for permit AAA007-00020-0035 to collect Mantophasmatodea and undertake this work at Clanwilliam. We thank Olaf Bininda-Emonds and two anonymous referees for helpful comments on the manuscript. M.P. received financial support through a University of Cape Town URC grant, M.J.B.E. was financially supported by a doc.award (University of Vienna, Kulturabteilung Stadt Wien).


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Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monika J. B. Eberhard
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mike D. Picker
    • 2
  • Klaus-Dieter Klass
    • 3
  1. 1.Behavioural Physiology, Department of BiologyHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Zoology DepartmentUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa
  3. 3.Museum für TierkundeSenckenberg Naturhistorische Sammlungen DresdenDresdenGermany

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