Phantasca nigrolineata

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: 29-34

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scientific name

Phantasca nigrolineata

sp. nov.

Phantasca nigrolineata  sp. nov.

Figs 49 View Figure –65View Figs 49–56View Figs 57–62View Figs 63–65

Phantasca  sp. I. – Jourdan, Lelong & Bellanger 2014: 489.

Material examined


FRENCH GUIANA: ♂, “ Guyane , Saül, rec. GEP ” (MNHN).


FRENCH GUIANA: 2 ♂♂, 1 ♀, “ Guyane, Saül , rec. GEP” (MNHN); 1 ♀, “ Guyane, Saül , 8-23.X.2013, GUY13-035, leg. Y. Bellanger, P. Lelong & T. Jourdan ” ( ASPER-PL)  ; 1 ♀, “ Guyane, Saül , 8-23.X.2013, GUY13-036, leg. Y. Bellanger, P. Lelong & T. Jourdan ” ( ASPER-PL)  ; 1 ♀, “ Guyane, Saül , 8-23.X.2013, GUY13-096, leg. Y. Bellanger, P. Lelong & T. Jourdan ” ( ASPER-YB)  ; 1 ♂, “ Guyane, Saül , 8-23.X.2013, GUY13-037, leg. Y. Bellanger, P. Lelong & T. Jourdan ” ( ASPER-PL)  ; 1 ♂, “ Guyane, Saül , 8-23.X.2013, GUY13-038, leg. Y. Bellanger, P. Lelong & T. Jourdan ” ( ASPER-PL)  ; 1 ♂, “ Guyane, Saül , 8-23.X.2013, GUY13-097, leg. Y. Bellanger, P. Lelong & T. Jourdan ” ( ASPER-YB)  ; 1 ♂, “ Guyane, Saül , 8-23.X.2013, GUY13-098, leg. Y. Bellanger, P. Lelong & T. Jourdan ” ( ASPER-YB)  ; 100 eggs, “ Guyane, Saül , 8-23.X.2013, laid by GUY13-035, -036 and -096, leg. Y. Bellanger, P. Lelong & T. Jourdan ” ( ASPER)  ; 4 ♂♂, 58 eggs, “ex Zucht F. Hennemann 2015 (F 2 Gen.), Herkunft  : French Guiana, Commune de Saül , leg. Y. Bellanger, P. Lelong & T. Jourdan 8.-23.X.2013 ” (FH 0867-4, E)  ; 6 ♂♂, 7 ♀♀, “Französisch Guyana, Ex Zucht O. Conle 2015, Gen F 2, Commune de Saül , 10.2013, leg. Yannick Bellanger & ASPER ” ( OC 0338-1–0338-13)  .


Males of this new species are well characterised by the bold dark brown to black spot on the anterior portion of the head ( Fig. 58 View Figure ), fine longitudinal median stripe on the vertex and pronotum, numerous small dark speckles on the mesonotum and costal region of the alae and having the main radial and transverse veins in the outer portion of the alae marked by dark grey or brown. The fairly long and almost straight cerci resemble those of P. puppeius ( Westwood, 1859)  , but the smaller poculum, with its upcurving apex cleary distinguishes P. nigolineata  sp. nov. from this species. Females are similar to those of P. ruboligata  sp. nov. but readily differ by the more elongate and slender body and legs, plain green profemora (interior surface bright red in P. ruboligata  ) and somewhat shorter blunt cerci, which are at best equal in length to the anal segment (decidedly longer than the anal segment, with the apex acutely pointed in ruboligata  ). The eggs are distinctive by their lens-shaped capsule ( Figs 63–65 View Figure ).


The name of this new species refers to the distinctive black longitudinal median stripe on the head and pronotum of the males.


Male ( Figs 57–62 View Figure )

BODY. Size small (body length 46.0– 52.6 mm, Table 7); form slender and fairly usual for the genus.

COLOUR. Ochre to pale brown, with a more or less distinct greenish hue and irregular dark brown mottling on thorax and abdomen. Head, with a bold dark brown to black longitudinal median streak, which is broadest and most prominent between the eyes and becomes increasingly less defined and narrower towards the posterior; on frons forming a weakly defined Y-shaped marking. Cheeks, with a faint brownish wash. Scapus dull ochre, the following antennomeres greyish mid brown, with the base pale ochre. Pronotum, with the median portion broadly blackish brown and with a short, longitudinal stripe near lateral margins on the anterior half. Most of mesosternum dark brown. Tegmina and costal region of alae ochre to pale brown, with most of the transverse veins dark brown; occasionally, with some dark brown mottling. Anal region of alae transparent grey, with all veins dull grey; the radial veins 1–6 broadly black at the base. Abdominal sternum, with two black converging stripes on posterior half. Tergum VII, with a pair of distinct C-shaped markings close to posterior margin, VIII and IX each, with a fine black stripe laterally and VIII, with two black spots on basal half. Anal segment, with two– four short, diverging black stripes. Front legs ochre to pale brown, with faint irregular dark mottling. Meso- and metafemora, with the basal ⅔ mid green, the tibiae and apical portion of femora straw, with irregular, more or less distintly defined dark brown annulations.

HEAD. Elongate-ovoid, with the vertex flattened and smooth; broadest at the eyes and the cheeks gently narrowing towards the posterior ( Fig. 58 View Figure ). Eyes large, projecting hemispherically and their length

contained almost 1.3× in that of cheeks. Antennae longer than body. Scapus rectangular and 1.5× as long as wide, pedicellus cylindrical and somewhat constricted apically, antennomere III decidedly longer than pedicellus.

THORAX. Pronotum about equal in length but distinctly narrower than head and very gently narrowed towards the posterior ( Fig. 58 View Figure ). Transverse median sulcus moderately distinct, straight and expanding over entire width of segment. Mesothorax 2.8× as long as head and pronotum combined; mesosternum, with a very fine longitudinal median carina. Tegmina slender, spatulate, strongly constricted in the basal half and with the apical portion moderately broadened and acutely angular. Alae projecting somewhat over posterior margin of abdominal segment IV.

ABDOMEN. Median segment about 3.3× as long as metanotum. Segments II–VI about equal in length, V– VII distinctly decreasing in length. II some 4.5× and VII only about 2.8× as long as wide; the latter roundly deflexed posteriorly. Sternites II–VII, with a very fine longitudinal median carina. Tergum VIII roughly equal in length to IX, the lateral margins well separated from sternum VIII. IX gradually widening towards the posterior; the lateral margins almost straight, somewhat deflexed and incurving in posterior portion but well separated ventrally. Anal segment as broad as posterior portion of VII, roundly rectangular and hardly longer than wide, posterior margin, with a very shallow concave indention ( Fig. 59 View Figure ), the outer angles obtusely rounded and only, with a very few minute denticles ventrally. Vomer small, triangular in shape and with a slightly upcurving, acute apical hook. Cerci fairly long, slender, straight, with the apex slightly club-like and projecting beyond anal segment by about ⅔ the length of that segment ( Fig. 60 View Figure ). Sternum VIII obtusely swollen and considerably longer than tergum VIII. Poculum small, roundly triangular in ventral aspect, with the lateral margins strongly upcurving, roundly excavated sub-apically and forming two obtusely triangular projections apically ( Figs 60–61 View Figure ); the apex V-shaped in caudal aspect.

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

Female ( Figs 49–56 View Figure )

BODY. Size medium (body length 65.0– 77.2 mm, Table 7); form slender, with long and slender legs. Body smooth except for a fine longitudinal median line on meso- and metanotum.

COLOUR. Ranging from pale over dull green to mid brown; brown specimens usually, with a variable number of small, irregularly dispersed dark brown to black speckles. Abdominal tergites often, with a faint dark spot posteromedially. Cerci reddish brown.

HEAD. Roundly rectangular, the vertex flattened and with a scarce longitudinal median sulcus, cheeks slightly widened and roughly parallel-sided. Eyes of average size, circular and their length contained a little more than 2× in that of cheeks. Antennae roughly reaching to posterior margin of abdominal segment II; otherwise as in males.

THORAX. Pronotum rectangular, somewhat shorter and narrower than head and very gently narrowed medially; transverse median sulcus distinct, slightly curved and almost expanding over entire width of segment. Mesothorax about 2.3× as long as head and pronotum combined, uniform in width. Meso- and metasternum minutely and sparsely granulose.

ABDOMEN. Median segment only about ⅔ the length of metanotum and gently constricted anteriorly. Abdominal segment II–VII roughly of uniform width, II–V slightly increasing in length, VI about as long as V and VII only ¾ the length of VI; V about 3.3× as long as wide. Tergites II–IX, with a shallow longitudinal carina near lateral margins. Sternum II sparsely granulose, remaining smooth. Praeopercular organ formed by a small wart-like median projection close to posterior margin of sternum VII. Tergites VIII–X of uniform width and somewhat narrower than preceding.Anal segment about equal in length to IX, with a fine longitudinal median carina and somewhat narrowed posteriorly ( Fig. 53 View Figure ); the posterior margin, with a small median indention and the outer portions obtusely rounded. Epiproct small, scale-shaped, almost semicircular,, with an acute keel dorsally and just very slightly projecting over anal segment ( Fig. 53 View Figure ). Gonapophyses VIII elongated, gently upcurving but staying considerably before apex of subgenital plate. Cerci long, slender, straight, gradually constricted towards a slender tip in the apical portion and projecting beyond apex of anal segment by about ¾ the length of that segment ( Fig. 53 View Figure ). Subgenital plate keeled longitudinally, with the apex narrowed and forming a short triangular projection; almost reaching to posterior margin of anal segment ( Figs 54–55 View Figure ). Lateral surfaces, with a curved longitudinal carina in basal half ( Fig. 55 View Figure ).

LEGS. All long and slender. Anterodorsal carina of profemora moderately raised sub-basally. Profemora a little longer than mesothorax and metatibiae, reaching to abdominal segment VII or VIII. Pro- and metabasitarsus somewhat longer than remaining tarsomeres combined, mesobasitarsus about equal to combined length of remaining tarsomeres.

Egg ( Figs 63–65 View Figure )

Small, strongly laterally compressed and lens-shaped, with the dorsal and ventral surfaces as well as the polar-area strongly tectiform; the dorsal surface more convex than the ventral surface. Capsule about 1.5× as long as high and almost 2.3× as long as wide. Entire surface shiny and all over minutely granulose. Micropylar plate long, slender and parallel-sided, with only the posterior portion very slightly widened; on average some 5.1× as long as wide and almost the length of capsule. Interior portion somewhat raised and surface minutely granulose; the micropylar ⅗ cup close to posterior end and bowl-shaped. Median line short and not reaching polar area. Operculum inserted at a slight angle and elongate-oval in shape. Capitulum gently convex and with an open network of irregularly shaped, roughly radially directed fringes. General colour of capsule plain dark brown, capitulum black.

Measurements (in mm). Length (incl. operculum) 2.77, length 2.59, width 1.16, height 1.78, length of micropylar plate 1.69, diameter of operculum 0.58 × 0.96.


Males in particular show some degree of variability concerning the overall colouration, as well as the shape of the black streak on the vertex. The latter ranges from a simple Y-shaped marking between the eyes to a streak that covers the entire length of the head capsule. While the pronotum has a washed dark longitudinal median stripe in most specimens at hand, it is almost completely lacking in some specimens.

Breeding in captivity from stock collected in Saül in 2013 has been attempted but the culture was lost after two generations. Bramble (Rubus fruticosus, Rosaceae  ) and rose (Rosa spp., Rosaceae  ) were readily accepted as alternative food plants. In Saül this species was exclusively found on guava (Psidium guyava, Myrtaceae  ) and also accepted this in captivity in French Guiana. Hence, guava is very likely to be part of the natural diet, but several other plants are believed to serve as food, since most species of Phantasca  appear to be fairly polyphagous. Males are well capable of active flight and will frequently use this ability to escape when disturbed. On disturbance females usually drop to the ground and walk away quickly. Hatching rates of the eggs are fairly high and were at around 70% in the first generation. At average temperatures of 25°C incubation takes 10–12 weeks, males reach maturity after five months and females take some six months to reach maturity. Parthenogenetic reproduction has been attempted, but hatching rates are very low and the incubation period for eggs extends to seven months.


French Guiana: Commune de Saül ( MNHNAbout MNHN, ASPER, FH, OC). 


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle














Phantasca nigrolineata

Hennemann, Frank H., Conle, Oskar V., Bellanger, Yannick, Lelong, Philippe & Jourdan, Toni 2018



: 489