Mantophasmatodea: A New Insect Order with Extant Members in the Afrotropics

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Science  24 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5572, pp. 1456-1459
DOI: 10.1126/science.1069397

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A new insect order, Mantophasmatodea, is described on the basis of museum specimens of a new genus with two species: Mantophasma zephyra gen. et sp. nov. (one female from Namibia) and M. subsolana sp. nov. (one male from Tanzania). This is the first time since 1914 that a newly described extant insect taxon has proved unplaceable within a recognized order. Mantophasmatodeans are apterous carnivores. Their closest phylogenetic relationships may be to Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) and/or Phasmatodea (stick insects), but the morphological evidence is ambiguous. Raptophasma Zompro from Baltic amber is assigned to the Mantophasmatodea, revealing a wider previous range for the lineage.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: klass{at}, zompro{at}

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