Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 231–250 | Cite as

Review of the East African species of the phaneropterine genus Parapyrrhicia Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1891 (Insecta: Orthoptera): secret communication of a forest-bound taxon

  • Claudia Hemp
  • Klaus-Gerhard Heller
  • Elżbieta Warchałowska-Śliwa
  • Beata Grzywacz
  • Andreas Hemp
Original Article


The East African species of Parapyrrhicia Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1891, are reviewed. Beside the description of five new species from the West Usambara, Udzungwa, Uluguru Mountains, and coastal Tanzania and the male of P. zanzibarica Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1891, data on habitat, morphology, acoustics, and the chromosomes are provided. A key to the species of Parapyrrhicia is provided. Eulioptera zanzibarica Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1891, is synonymized with Parapyrrhicia zanzibarica Brunner. All species have stridulatory files with intertooth intervals decreasing from anal to basal and low duty cycle calling songs (four species recorded) consisting of very short, narrow-banded, resonant syllables. Parapyrrhicia species showed a plesiomorphic karyotype with a diploid chromosome number of 2n = 31 and a X0 sex chromosome system in males. All species are restricted to closed wet forest areas and thus ideal organisms to be used for monitoring habitat quality of an area since they act as indicators for indigenous wet forest communities. Morphological sister pairs suggest recent speciation processes in coastal and lowland wet forests of East Africa.


Taxonomy Coastal forests Eastern Arc Mountains Tanzania Biodiversity Indicator species Chromosomes 



I gratefully acknowledge grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Part of this research received support from the Synthesys Project is financed by the European Community Research Infrastructure Action under the FP6 “Structuring the European Research Area Programme” enabling me to visit the Natural History Museum London, UK, and the entomological collection of the Vienna Natural History Museum, Austria, and the Zoological Museum Copenhagen, Denmark. We also thank the Commission for Science and Technology, Tanzania and the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Arusha, for granting research.


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Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology (Zoology III)University of WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.MagdeburgGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Systematics and Evolution of AnimalsPolish Academy of SciencesKrakówPoland
  4. 4.Department of Plant SystematicsUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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