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     Stenophylla lobivertex new species of Stenophyllinae from Amazonia (Insecta, Mantodea).

    Stenophylla lobivertex, a new species of Stenophyllinae from Ecuador and Peru, where this genus has never been found before, is described. This new species differs from Stenophylla cornigera Westwood, the only species known for this genus, by the remarkable size of the median process of the vertex and by the shape of the male genitalia. The systematic position and some biogeographical remarks about the genus are made.


    The type species Stenophylla cornigera (WESTWOOD, 1843) described from Brazil, remained almost unbeatable for about 150 years in stable monotypic state, until the Italian specialist Francesco Lombardo in the year 2000 could describe a second species: Stenophylla lobivertex of the northwestern Amazon . Such a discovery predicts that the genus probably contains 4 or 5 restricted species all in the tropical rain forest of South America.

    As predicted by SALAZAR (2004), St. lobivertex could be registered in the Colombian territory, in a wide area that includes Amazonas, Guaviare, Guainia and Putumayo, an issue that could be verified with the capture of an adult male in the foot from the Amazonian mountain range of the Putumayo department at 530 masl. LOMBARDO (op.cit.), Registering the material of this species on a map of South America through some known locations, ventured to quote it for French Guiana, thanks to the registration of an adult female that was figurated by SALAZAR (2004) and ROY (2005). However, the latter author in a detailed study on the genus and its species, and by distinctive diagnostic characters, separates the specimen and describes it as a type belonging to another species calledStenophylla gallardi , which unexpectedly increased the amount of Stenophylla from one to three known taxa.


    The finding of the male of S. lobivertex greatly expands its area of ​​dispersion and allows us to know its stalking behavior and capture of prey, which is very different from that of the Acanthops Serville species , 1831 (SALAZAR, 2006). The position of the anterior legs flexed on itself ( Fig. 1 ) is almost horizontal, and they are placed in this attitude immediately behind and to the sides of the union of the pronotum with the metathorax, as it appears in another male specimen photographed by CASTNER ( 2000), but erroneously identified as S. cornigera. This position is reminiscent of that of other mantids of the subfamily Acontistinae , especially Callibia diana(Stol, 1813). In the Acanthopinae, the anterior legs are arranged on the sides of the prozone and behind the head (CASTNER, 2000; SALAZAR, 2006). The exemplary witness deposited in the author's collection was surprised arriving at night at an artificial tungsten light, together with Angela Guianensis (Rhen, 1906) and Vates biplagiata (Sjöstedt, 1930), at the Amazonian Experimental Center (CEA, Mocoa , Putumayo).