Phantasca guianensis

Hennemann, Frank H., Conle, Oskar V., Bellanger, Yannick, Lelong, Philippe & Jourdan, Toni, 2018, Studies on neotropical Phasmatodea XVII: Revision of Phantasca Redtenbacher, 1906, with the descriptions of six new species (Phasmatodea: Diapheromeridae: Diapheromerinae), European Journal of Taxonomy 435, pp. 1-62: 18-24

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scientific name

Phantasca guianensis

sp. nov.

Phantasca guianensis  sp. nov.

Figs 25–41View Figs 25–35View Figs 36–41

Material examined


FRENCH GUIANA: ♂, “ Guyane, Montagne de Kaw , 5-12 VIII 92, 8K 37 A4, Roubaud, Auvray, Rarchaert rec.” (MNHN).


FRENCH GUIANA: 1♀, “ Guyane, Piste de Kaw , 5-VII-92, Roubaud, Rarchaert, Morin, Auvray rec.; 5“ (MNHN); 1♀, “GUY15-050 13-VII-2015, Guyane française, Route de Roura , N 4°42.148' W52°18.262', rec. T. Jourdan, coll. ASPER “ ( ASPER-PL)GoogleMaps  ; 1♀, “ Guyane, Roura, route de Kaw, VIII-2014, Christian Bouladou-Dupré rec.“ ( ASPER-YB)  ; 10 eggs, “ Guyane, Roura, route de Kaw, VIII.2014 “ ( ASPER-PL); 

27 eggs, “ Guyane, Roura, route de Kaw, VIII.2014 “ ( ASPER-YB)  ; 10 eggs, “ Guyane, Route de Roura , 13-VII-2015 “ ( ASPER-YB)  .


Males of this new species resemble those of P. quadrilobata ( Chopard, 1911)  and P. phantasma ( Westwood, 1859)  , with respect to the colouration of the head and body, but the very elongate and almost straight cerci, which project beyond the apex of the abdomen by almost the length of the anal segment, readily distinguish P. guianensis  sp. nov. from these two species ( Fig. 31 View Figure ). Furthermore, the anal segment is almost parallel-sided ( Fig. 30 View Figure ) and has the broad posterior margin, with a fairly wide triangular excavation (narrowed posteriorly,, with the posterior margin deeply incised in P. phantasma  and with the lateral margins rounded and the posterior margin only, with a small triangular median incision in P. quadrilobata  ). Females are similar to those of P. quadrilobata ( Chopard, 1911)  but differ by the somewhat larger size, less globose and unicoloured head, lack of paired humps on abdominal tergum VI, larger epiproct ( Fig. 27 View Figure ), slightly longer cerci ( Fig. 28 View Figure ), broader legs which have all carinae more decidedly deflexed, as well as the interiorly bright red bases of the profemora ( Fig. 34 View Figure ).


Named after its distribution in French Guiana.



BODY. Size fairly large (body length 63.5 mm, Table 4); form slender and fairly usual for the genus.

COLOUR. HT discoloured by preceding storage in ethanol. Colour pale to mid brown, with a slight greenish hue on legs in particular and irregular dark brown mottling on thorax and abdomen. Head, with a bold black marking on frons and four black markings on vertex, each of which continue in a longitudinal streak that becomes increasingly less defined and terminates just before posterior margin of head capsule; the two outer markings triangular. Between the eyes, with a bold pale transverse stripe ( Fig. 35 View Figure ). Cheeks, with two faint dark postocular lines and the lower portions of head capsule black. Scapus blackish brown,, with a bold pale brown spot intero-medially. Pronotum, with the median portion broadly blackish brown and with a short, longitudinal stripe near lateral margins on the anterior and posterior half. Probasisternum, with a black T-shaped marking. Posterior portion of mesonotum black, the lateral margins straw; mesosternum dark brown. Anal region of alae transparent grey. Abdominal sternites blackish on the posterior portion and with a pale median marking close to posterior margin; the fine longitudinal median carina pale brown. Abdominal tergum VII, with a pair of distinct C-shaped markings close to posterior margin, VIII and IX each, with a black median line, a black stripe laterally and four black spots between these lines. Anal segment, with two fine longitudinal black lines. Femora dull green, tibiae straw and both, with the apex brown.

HEAD. Ovoid, with the vertex very gently convex and smooth; broadest at the eyes ( Fig. 35 View Figure ). Eyes large, projecting hemispherically and their length contained about 1.3× in that of cheeks. Antennae longer than body. Scapus rectangular and 1.4× as long as wide, pedicellus cylindrical and somewhat constricted apically, antennomere III decidedly longer than pedicellus.

THORAX. Pronotum slightly shorter but distinctly narrower than head and very gently narrowed towards the posterior ( Fig. 35 View Figure ). Transverse median sulcus moderately distinct, straight and expanding over entire width of segment. Mesothorax 3.3× as long as head and pronotum combined; mesosternum, with a fine longitudinal median carina. Tegmina slender, spatulate, strongly constricted in the basal half and with the apical portion moderately broadened and acutely angular. Alae reaching to posterior margin of abdominal segment IV.

ABDOMEN. Median segment almost 3.7× as long as metanotum. Segments II–VII slightly decreasing in length. II about 5.5× and VII about 3× as long as wide; the latter somewhat deflexed posteriorly. Sternites II–VII, with a very fine but acute longitudinal median carina. Tergum VIII shortest of all segments, hardly longer than wide and not broader than preceding; the lateral margins well separated from sternum VIII. IX about 1.7× as long as VIII, narrowed in anterior half and with the posterior increasingly broadened; the lateral margins deflexed and curved inward ventrally, but well separated. Anal segment as broad as posterior portion of VII, parallel-sided, a little longer the wide; the posterior margin, with a broad triangular excavation ( Fig. 30 View Figure ), the outer angles obtusely triangular and with several minute denticles ventrally. Vomer small, triangular in shape and with a slightly upcurving, acute apical hook ( Fig. 32 View Figure ). Cerci long, slender, very gently upcurving and projecting beyond anal segment by almost the length of that segment ( Fig. 30 View Figure ). Sternum VIII moderately swollen and with the posterior margin deflexed into a straight, labiate carina. Poculum small, roundly angular in basal portion and roundly triangular in ventral aspect,, with the apex obtusely rounded ( Fig. 32 View Figure ), somewhat upcurving and just not reaching posterior margin of tergum IX; lateral margins moderately excavated in lateral aspect ( Fig. 31 View Figure ).

LEGS. All very long and slender, profemora somewhat longer than head, pro- and mesothorax combined and metatibiae projecting considerably beyond apex of abdomen. All basitarsi decidedly longer than combined length of remaining tarsomeres.

Female ( Figs 25–26 View Figure )

BODY. Size large (body length 102.0–125.0 mm, Table 4) and apparently the largest known species in the genus; form slender, with fairly stocky and distinctly carinate legs. Body smooth except for a longitudinal line of minute white granules on mesopleurae.

COLOUR. Colour of paratype in MNHNAbout MNHN ( Figs 25–26 View Figure ) dull green, with a few small, irregularly dispersed white spots on head, thorax and the basal abdominal segments. Mesonotum, with a very faint whitish longitudinal median streak, most of ventral body surface greyish. Abdominal tergites III and IV each, with a bold, washed brown marking on anterior half and most of tergum VI whitish, with two small brown spots near posterior margin. Bases of profemora bright red interiorly ( Fig. 34 View Figure ) and the posterodorsal carina on the basal portion marked by a distinct black line. Other specimens greyish brown.

HEAD. Roundly rectangular, the vertex very gently convex and with a scarce longitudinal median sulcus, the cheeks widened ( Fig. 34 View Figure ). Eyes fairly small, circular and their length contained about 2.5× in that of cheeks. Antennae reaching about half way along median segment. Scapus rectangular and very slightly narrowed sub-basally, 1.5× as long as wide. Pedicellus sub-globose, antennomere III some 1.5× as long as pedicellus.

THORAX. Pronotum rectangular and somewhat narrowed medially, shorter and narrower than head; transverse median sulcus indistinct, very short and expanding no more than half of segment ( Fig. 34 View Figure ). A deep impression near anterolateral angles. Mesothorax almost 3× as long as head and pronotum combined, of uniform width.

ABDOMEN. Median segment slightly longer than metanotum; gently constricted medially. Abdominal segments II–VII roughly of uniform width, II–IV slightly increasing and V–VII decreasing in length; V about 3.6× as long as wide. Tergum VII very gently deflexed posterolaterally. Sternites II–VI very slightly tectiform, VII, with a fine but acute longitudinal median carina. Praeopercular organ formed by a slightly deflexed and scale-like posterior margin of sternum VII and two fairly distinct, reddish brown swellings some distance before posterior margin ( Fig. 29 View Figure ). Tergites VIII–X of uniform width and somewhat narrower than preceding. Anal segment a little longer than IX, narrowed towards the posterior and with a longitudinal median carina dorsally; posterior margin broadly rounded, slightly labiate and with a shallow notch medially. Epiproct large, scale-shaped, almost semicircular,, with an acute keel dorsally and projecting considerably over anal segment ( Fig. 27 View Figure ). Gonapophyses VIII elongated, gently upcurving and reaching to apex of subgenital plate ( Fig. 28 View Figure ). Cerci constricted sub-basally,, with the apical half appearing slightly club-shaped and the apex itself fairly acute ( Fig. 28 View Figure ); about ¾ the length of anal segment. Subgenital plate spatulate,, with an acute lateral carina in basal portion, the apex obtuse triangular and almost reaching to apex of abdomen ( Fig. 29 View Figure ).

LEGS. All fairly stocky for the genus, with all carinae, but the outer ventral ones in particular, lamellate. Anterodorsal carina of profemora strongly raised sub-basally. Outer ventral carinae of meso- and metafemora and all tibiae much deflexed, the posterodorsal carina of the meso- and metafemora and tibiae terminating in a small rounded lobe apically ( Fig. 33 View Figure ). Medioventral carina of meso- and metatibiae acute and sub-basally deflexed to form a distinctive, rounded lobe ( Fig. 33 View Figure ). Basitarsi about equal in length to remaining tarsomeres combined.

Egg ( Figs 36–41 View Figure )

There are three different types of eggs in this species, whose differences in colour and surface sculpturing of the capsule are summarized separately below. Fairly large for the genus, ovoid, distinctly oval in crosssection, almost 1.2× as long as high and about 1.75× as long as wide. Dorsal surface considerably more convex than ventral surface and the posterior portion somewhat narrowed. Complete capsule surface minutely and densely granulose and to a variable degree covered by an irregular network of ridges; the latter are differently pronounced in the three types of eggs (see below). Micropylar plate elongate, slender and very gently widened posteriorly; on average some 4.6× as long as wide and almost 0.8× the length of capsule. Outer margin somewhat raised and the interior portion, with an irregularly sculptured, scabrous longitudinal median bulge. Micropylar cup small, bowl-shaped. Median line almost reaching to polar-area. Operculum flat and oval; capitulum represented by a raised rim and some irregularly shaped acute ridges in the centre.

Type A ( Figs 36–38 View Figure ): General colour plain ochre, with the micropylar plate dark greyish brown. The opercular collar black and the operculum itself reddish brown, with the capitular structures very dark reddish brown. Network of ridges of capsule weakly pronounced and most obvious on dorsal surface around micropylar plate.

Type B: General colour glossy dark brown, with the micropylar plate sepia. Operculum black and capitular structures dull greyish brown. Network of ridges of capsule indistinct.

Type C ( Figs 39–41 View Figure ): General colour plain dull greyish mid brown, with the micropylar plate dark brown. Operculum dark brown and the capitular structures brown, with a slight golden hue. Network of ridges of capsule considerably more pronounced than in the other two types, giving the egg a quite strongly sculptured overall appearance.

Measurements (in mm). Length (incl. operculum) 2.70, length 2.40, width 1.50, height 1.90, length of micropylar plate 1.80.


Captive breeding has been attempted from parthenogenetically produced eggs laid by the female paratype collected along Route de Roura in 2015 but has proven difficult. Eucalyptus  ( Eucalyptus  spp., Myrtaceae  ) was accepted as an alternative food plant by the nymphs, but none reached maturity.


French Guiana: Commune de Roura , Montagnes de Kaw ( MNHNAbout MNHN)  ; Commune de Roura , Route de Roura ( ASPER)  ; Commune de Roura , Route de Kaw ( ASPER).


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle