Miomantis caffra Saussure, 1871

Marabuto, Eduardo, 2014, The Afrotropical Miomantiscaffra Saussure 1871 and M. paykullii Stal 1871: first records of alien mantid species in Portugal and Europe, with an updated checklist of Mantodea in Portugal (Inse, Biodiversity Data Journal 2, pp. 4117-4117: 4117

publication ID

http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.2.e4117

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/BB0057D5-D3F4-FC4B-3693-FC0031722B68

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Biodiversity Data Journal by Pensoft

scientific name

Miomantis caffra Saussure, 1871
status

 

Miomantis caffra Saussure, 1871 

Materials

Type status: Other material. Occurrence: recordedBy: Eduardo Marabuto; individualCount: 1; sex: male; Taxon: genus: Miomantis; specificEpithet: caffra; taxonRank: species; scientificNameAuthorship: Saussure, 1871; Location: continent: Europe; country: Portugal; countryCode: PT; stateProvince: Lisboa; county: Cascais; municipality: Carcavelos; locality: Sao Miguel das Encostas ; verbatimElevation: 50; decimalLatitude: 38.701; decimalLongitude: -9.336; Event: samplingProtocol: ad hoc observation; eventDate: 2014-09-09; habitat: gardenGoogleMaps  Type status: Other material. Occurrence: recordedBy: Eduardo Marabuto; individualCount: 1; sex: male; Taxon: genus: Miomantis; specificEpithet: caffra; taxonRank: species; scientificNameAuthorship: Saussure, 1871; Location: continent: Europe; country: Portugal; countryCode: PT; stateProvince: Estremadura; county: Lisboa; municipality: Oeiras; locality: Quinta do Marques ; verbatimElevation: 35; decimalLatitude: 38.696; decimalLongitude: -9.329; Event: samplingProtocol: ad hoc observation; eventDate: 2014-09-20; habitat: gardenGoogleMaps  Type status: Other material. Occurrence: recordedBy: Eduardo Marabuto; individualCount: 2; sex: male; Taxon: genus: Miomantis; specificEpithet: caffra; taxonRank: species; scientificNameAuthorship: Saussure, 1871; Location: continent: Europe; country: Portugal; countryCode: PT; stateProvince: Lisboa; county: Cascais; municipality: Carcavelos; locality: Sao Miguel das Encostas ; verbatimElevation: 50; decimalLatitude: 38.701; decimalLongitude: -9.336; Event: samplingProtocol: ad hoc observation; eventDate: 2014-09-22; habitat: gardenGoogleMaps  Type status: Other material. Occurrence: recordedBy: Eduardo Marabuto; individualCount: 1; sex: male; Taxon: genus: Miomantis; specificEpithet: caffra; taxonRank: species; scientificNameAuthorship: Saussure, 1871; Location: continent: Europe; country: Portugal; countryCode: PT; stateProvince: Lisboa; county: Cascais; municipality: Carcavelos; locality: Sao Miguel das Encostas ; verbatimElevation: 50; decimalLatitude: 38.701; decimalLongitude: -9.336; Event: samplingProtocol: ad hoc observation; eventDate: 2014-09-27; habitat: gardenGoogleMaps 

Description

Adapted from Giglio-Tos (1927), who placed it as a synonym of M. monacha  (Fabricius, 1787) and Ramsay (1990). Small or medium-sized species. Male green-coloured (occasionally brown) but distal part of pronotum may be obscured reddish brown. Wing hyaline except green area along space between radial and medial veins and pale, often contrasting radial vein. Female larger, stouter, pastel green with opaque green forewing and yellow hindwing. Head broader than the pronotum, especially in the male. Eye prominent globular bulging, more apparent in male. Pronotum slender, as long as or longer than fore coxa and smooth in male, finely toothed in female. Forewing distally dilated and exceeding the tip of the abdomen and cerci in male, much shorter not reaching the tip of abdomen in female. Foreleg patterned with inner coxa bearing 4-6 dark spots and finely toothed with 5-6 spaced small spines, stronger in female. Femur with 2-3 dark spots interiorly, 4 discoidal and 4 external spines. Fore tibia with 7 external spines. body length: 40-43mm; pronotum length: 10-13mm in male, to 16mm in female; forewing length 31mm in male, 22mm in female.

Portuguese specimens

The six observed and collected individuals of M. caffra  are adult specimens found by porch lights at night. All are identical in pattern and therefore only the first is described, while measurements are also given for the remainder. It is a match for the description in Giglio-Tos 1927 but particularly Ramsay 1990 and is represented in Fig. 2. This specimen is bright green with metazone (distal section of pronotum) and femora with a pale reddish brown suffusion. Forewings are hyaline except the green radial-medial and a pronounced white medial vein. Head bears large bulging and round eyes and does not appear depressed as M. paykullii  . Abdomen upperside is bright yellow. Raptorial forelegs bear the typical spine scheme and pattern of the genus and species: 5-6, 4, 7 with 4 dark spots on coxae and 3 prominent black femoral spots and darkened spines. Biometrics, n=6: pronotum length: 11 (10-11)mm; whole body length: 37 (36-38) mm; forewing length: 29 (27-31) mm; fore-leg length measurements - coxa: 7 (6-7)mm, femur: 9 (8-9)mm, tibia: 5 (4-5)mm; ratio forewing/ pronotum length: 2.7 (2.7-2.8).

Distribution

Originally endemic to the extreme south of Africa in South Africa and Mozambique. Original area spans from Cape of Good Hope to Maputo Bay, the former Transvaal province and Natal ( Giglio-Tos 1927). Now, M. caffra  is an alien and spreading species in New Zealand's North Island around Auckland ( Ramsay 1984, Ramsay 1990).

Recorded habitats and distribution in Portugal

The area surrounding sightings of M. caffra  is a suburban neighbourhood where managed gardens are abundant. Paspalum  spp. lawns are widespread interspersed with stands of Lantana camara  , Pittosporum tobira  , Yucca aloifolia  , Nerium oleander  and cultivated Rosa  spp. Other widely planted exotic species include Buxus sempervirens  , Ligustrum ovalifolium  , Phoenix canariensis  and Hibiscus  spp. Such gardens are watered every night and the whole environment contrasts with natural vegetation types. Here, the natural series would be a meso-thermomediterranean xerothermophilous vegetation adapted to a limestone substrates, the woodland series Arisaro clusii- Querco broteroi sigmetum, typical of western Portugal ( Mesquita et al. 2005). Climax stands of this vegetation series are scarce and the more open and thermic seral stages occupy the now few but biodiverse fragmented areas.

Ecology

All from Ramsay (1990). Overall similar to M. paykullii  . Presumably a generalist and adaptive species with a preference for warm-temperate situations. M. caffra  is annual and females live longer than males as most of the latter are eaten during copulation. Development time is variable and nymphs do not synchronise emergence, reaching adult stage at different times, not necessarily depending on temperature. While males are capable of oriented flight and are attracted to lights, females only glide, at best.

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Insecta

Order

Mantodea

Family

Mantidae

Genus

Miomantis