News

Reconstructing the nonadaptive radiation of an ancient lineage of ground-dwelling stick insects (Phasmatodea: Heteropterygidae)

A set of seven nuclear and mitochondrial genes were analysed to infer the phylogeny of Heteropterygidae covering the group's overall diversity. The relationships among the three principal subgroups of Heteropterygidae is resolved and revealed the Dataminae as the sister group of Heteropteryginae + Obriminae. Within Heteropteryginae, Haaniella is recovered as paraphyletic in regard to Heteropteryx. Consequently, Heteropteryx must be considered a subordinate taxon deeply embedded within a flightless clade of stick insects.

Cryptophyllium, the hidden leaf insects – descriptions of a new leaf insect genus and thirteen species from the former celebicum species group (Phasmatodea, Phylliidae)

The Phyllium (Phyllium) celebicum species group is reviewed and its distinctiveness from the remaining Phylliini genera and subgenera in a phylogenetic context based on morphological review and a phylogenetic analysis of three genes (nuclear gene 28S and mitochondrial genes COI and 16S) from most known and multiple undescribed species is shown. A new genus, Cryptophyllium gen. nov., is erected to partially accommodate the former members of the celebicum species group.

Andeocalynda - a new genus of Andean stick insects

The new genus Andeocalynda n. gen. is described and the supposed relationships are discussed. The genus is restricted to the mountainous Andean regions of Ecuador and Colombia. Nine new species are described and illustrated: A. aspericollis n. sp., A. banosense n. sp., A. brevicercata n. sp. and A. lojaense n. sp. from Ecuador based on the males only, A. decorata n. sp., A. mutica n. sp., A. densegranuloa n.

Megacraniinae —The Palm Stick Insects: A new subfamily of Old World Phasmatodea

The Palm Stick Insects (or "Coconut Stick Insects") have been transferred to a new subfamily on their own, the Megacraniinae subfam. nov.. The new subfamily is subordinate to Phasmatidae sensu stricto (= Lanceocercata). It is characteristic for the remarkably large head and strongly enlarged genae (“cheeks”), which are necessary to accomodate the massive mandibular muscles needed for feeding on the hard leaves of various palms (Arecaceae) e.g. coconut (Cocos nucifera) or screw palms (Pandanus spp., Pandanaceae).

Leaf Insects in The New York Times - 01.12.2020

He Was a Stick; She Was a Leaf; Together They Made History. A surprise clutch of eggs has solved a century-old leaf insect mystery.

01.12.2020 - A nice article about the recent Nanophyllium discovery in the journal ZooKeys has been published in The New York Times.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/01/science/leaf-stick-insects-phyllium-asekiense.html

 

Microrestes - a new genus of tiny Dataminae described from Vietnam

The genus Microrestes gen. nov. is erected to accommodate the new species Microrestes robustus sp. nov. from North Vietnam. Pylaemenes trapezius Ho, 2016 from southern China is transferred to Microrestes and the new combination M. trapezius (Ho, 2016) comb. nov. is proposed. A third species of Microrestes is recorded from northern Thailand based on photographs.

Lost lovers linked at long last: elusive female Nanophyllium mystery solved after a century of being placed in a different genus (Phasmatodea, Phylliidae)

The previously unknown females of the genus Nanophyllium have been identified. A review of the genus including the descriptions of two new species from New Guinea has been published in the journal ZooKeys.

Reference:

Royce T. Cumming, Stéphane Le Tirant, Sierra M. Teemsma, Frank H. Hennemann, Luc Willemse and Thies H. Büscher (2020): Lost lovers linked at long last: elusive female Nanophyllium mystery solved after a century of being placed in a different genus (Phasmatodea, Phylliidae). ZooKeys, 969: 43-84.

Studies on Neotropical Phasmatodea XIX: the enigmatic genus Laciphorus Redtenbacher, 1908 from Coastal Peru (Phasmatodea: Diapheromeridae: Diapheromerinae)

The enigmatic, monotypic genus Laciphorus Redtenbacher, 1908 (type species: Laciphorus lobulatus Redtenbacher, 1908) is redescribed and its taxonomic position is explained. It belongs to a subgroup of ‘anareolate’ Phasmatodea currently referred to as Diapheromerinae: Diapheromerini: ‘Bacteriagroup’ and now members of a clade termed Occidophasmata (Simon et al., 2019). Globocalynda Zompro, 2001 is shown to be the morphologically most similar and presumably most closely related genus. Two new synonymies are revealed.

STUDIES ON NEOTROPICAL PHASMATODEA XXI: SIGARUPHASMA, A NEW GENUS OF HESPEROPHASMATINI BRADLEY & GALIL, 1977, FROM HISPANIOLA WITH THE DESCRIPTIONS OF TWO NEW SPECIES (PHASMATODEA: CLADOMORPHINAE)

The new Hesperophasmatini–genus Sigaruphasma gen. nov. from Hispaniola is described and illustrated. It is remarkable for violating several of the previously stated diagnostic features of the tribe Hesperophasmatini Bradley and Galil, 1977. It is well characterized by the cylindrical, cigar–like body of females, proportionally very short legs, strongly broadened profemora of females, lacking sensory–areas on the probasisternum and profurcasternum as well as the smooth egg–capsule. Two new species are described from the Dominican Republic, both from the males, females and eggs. S.