Agudelo, Antonio A., 2014, A new genus and species of Mantoididae (Mantodea) from the Brazilian and Venezuelan Amazon, with remarks on Mantoida Newman, 1838, Zootaxa 3797 (1), pp. 194-206: 203-204

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Notes on Mantoida  spp.

Species-level identification in Mantoida  remains difficult, mostly because the taxonomic status of some species is ambiguous and there is limited information available in the literature. For instance, the type specimens of M. burmeisteri ( Giebel, 1862)  from Nova Friburgo (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) ( Fig. 10View FIGURE 10) were assigned to the genus Chaeteessa  (misspelled as Chaetoessa in Giebel 1862), thus remaining without labels and identified as such. This led to subsequent incorrect identifications of this species and, later on, uncertainty on its validity (e.g. Westwood 1889). Consequently, this species has been omitted by several important studies on Neotropical Mantodea  published in recent times, although few records exist in older literature. For instance, Rehn (1913, 1920) did mention the occurrence of M. burmeisteri  in Misiones ( Argentina  ) and Chapadas dos Guimarães (Mato Grosso, Brazil). There have been no additional records of this species since then and it likely remains misidentified in the literature. Another notorious source of confusion due to limited information and poor species characterization was Jantsch (1999), whose misinterpretation of Mantillica Westwood, 1889  ( Thespidae  , Oligonicinae  ) prompted him to transfer, within the context of his unpublished Doctoral thesis ( Jantsch 1999), all of its species to Mantoida  . This procedure may have been influenced by a similar suggestion previously made by Terra (1995). Terra (1995) and Jantsch’s (1999) proposals were later formalized in a publication by Salazar (2005). After the examination of photographs of the type specimens of all members of Mantillica  , in addition to a careful analysis of their original descriptions, I was able to confirm that only Mantillica beieri  belongs to Mantoida  ( Fig. 11View FIGURE 11). Thus, only the previously suggested combination of Mantoida beieri ( Kaltenbach, 1957) sensu Jantsch (1999)  , Salazar (2005), and more recently Rivera (2010), is herein confirmed as valid.

Rehn (1951), Beebe et al. (1952), Cerdá (1993), and Roy (2010) examined material of Mantoida  and suggested the existence of new species in Colombia, Trinidad, Venezuela, and Brazil (Mato Grosso). However, the ambiguous nature of some characters, or their omission in the original descriptions, casts doubts on such suggestions. For example, it is likely that what Roy (2010) regarded as an unknown species of Mantoida  with brachypterous females, actually corresponds to the female of M. luteola  , as previously suggested by Beier (1931). It is necessary to redefine the relevance of the usual and yet questionable characters historically used to distinguish Mantoida  species (e.g. color pattern) and assess other less known and potentially informative characters that have gone underutilized. These characters, some of which may be relevant for further subdividing Mantoida  into additional genera, have been commented on by La Greca and Lombardo (1989); these include the shape of the abdomen (particularly in males), the shape of the ventral phallomere, and the level of curvature of the foretibiae. Recent observations made by the author suggest additional characters with likely taxonomic value that may eventually prove to be useful for clarifying relationships among Mantoida  spp. Such characters involve relative body size, the brachypterous condition of females of some species, and the structural attributes of male genitalia. For instance, species like M. nitida  , M. argentina  , M. brunneriana  , M. fulgidipennis  , and M. schraderi  all exhibit body size above 13 mm ( Fig. 9View FIGURE 9 a) while the distal process of the ventral phallomere lacks setae ( Fig. 9View FIGURE 9 d). On the other hand, species like M. tenuis  , M. luteola  , M. maya Saussure & Zehntner, 1894  and M. ronderosi  are smaller (below 13 mm) and exhibit conspicuous setae in the distal process of the ventral phallomere ( Figs. 9View FIGURE 9 b –c).

The final checklist (in alphabetic order) of Mantoida  is as follows:

M. argentina La Greca & Lombardo, 1989  M. beieri ( Kaltenbach, 1957) 

M. brunneriana (Saussure, 1871)  M. burmeisteri ( Giebel, 1862)  M. fulgidipennis Westwood, 1889  M. luteola Westwood, 1889 

M. maya Saussure & Zehntner, 1894  M. nitida Newman, 1838 

M. ronderosi La Greca & Lombardo, 1989  M. schraderi Rehn, 1951 

M. toulgoeti Roy, 2010 

M. tenuis (Perty, 1833) 

A revision of Mantoida  is essential to confirm the existence of the undescribed diversity suggested by previous authors ( Rehn 1951; Cerdá 1993) as well as by recent prospecting efforts of the Amazon fauna. Furthermore, such studies will help to solve several taxonomic issues within Mantoididae  as well as establishing solid foundations for future phylogenetic studies. This newly gained knowledge, in addition to similar studies in Chaeteessidae  , will certainly contribute towards a better understanding of evolutionary relationships among these early diverging mantodean lineages.













Agudelo, Antonio A. 2014

M. toulgoeti

Roy 2010

M. argentina

La Greca & Lombardo 1989

M. ronderosi

La Greca & Lombardo 1989

M. beieri (

Kaltenbach 1957

M. schraderi

Rehn 1951

M. maya

Saussure & Zehntner 1894

M. fulgidipennis

Westwood 1889

M. luteola

Westwood 1889

M. brunneriana

Saussure 1871

M. burmeisteri (

Giebel 1862

M. nitida

Newman 1838

M. tenuis

Perty 1833