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Published: 2018-01-31

Morphological convergences in Ameles Burmeister and Pseudoyersinia Kirby: Taxonomic implications of wing reduction and flight predisposition in some West-Mediterranean Amelini (Insecta: Mantodea)

Musei del Canal Di Brenta, Palazzo Perli - Via Garibaldi, 27 - 36020, Valstagna (VI), Italy.
C/ Montenebros I, nº 7, 28400 Collado Villalba, Madrid, Spain.
Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences. Section of Animal Biology “Marcello La Greca”, via Androne 81, 95124 Catania, Italy.
Mohammed V University in Rabat Institut Scientifique, P B. 703 Agdal, Rabat, Morocco.
D75 El Esnite, Comares, 29195 Málaga, Spain.
Universität Hamburg, Zoologisches Institut, Abt. Tierökologie und Naturschutz , Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany.
Mantodea Ameles mantids new species ecology flight wing reduction colour biogeography


Species in the genus Ameles Burmeister and Pseudoyersinia Kirby (Amelini) are traditionally defined as small-sized, ground-dwelling mantids whose males are distinct for being, respectively, macropterous and brachypterous. However, comparative morphological studies across Amelini confirmed the existence of short-winged males in Ameles, suggesting that this traditional diagnostic concept does not apply to all species. Our analyses of several species from West Mediterranean localities (Canary Islands, Spain, Italy, and Morocco) resulted in the relocation of Pseudoyersinia andreae Galvagni, 1976 to Ameles as Ameles andreae (Galvagni, 1976) (n. comb.) with Ameles insularis Agabiti, Ippolito & Lombardo, 2010 as its new synonym (n. syn.), the clarification of the taxonomic identity of A. gracilis (Brullé, 1838) and A. maroccana Uvarov, 1931, including diagnoses of their males, and the description of Ameles spallanzania obscura (n. ssp.) (from Spain). We also take the opportunity to describe Pseudoyersinia maroccana (n. sp.) (from Morocco) based on museum specimens separating it from Ameles maroccana Uvarov, 1931. We also found that wing length is positively correlated to ocelli size. We discuss this trend from an ecological, evolutionary, and biogeographic perspectives to both facilitate species circumscription and justify the taxonomic modifications herein introduced.



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