Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

A revision of the Australian Mantispidae (Insecta : Neuroptera) with a contribution to the classification of the family. I. General and Drepanicinae

KJ Lambkin

Australian Journal of Zoology Supplementary Series 34(116) 1 - 142
Published: 1986


The Australian Mantispidae is reviewed and the classification of the family as a whole is examined. A general description of the morphology of the Australian Mantispidae is given, and the descriptive terminology used is explained. The phylogenetic (= cladistic) relationships of the genera are analysed. On the basis of analysis of generic relationships, a new classification of the family involving four subfamilies is proposed, as follows: Symphrasinae (Anchieta, Trichoscelia, Plega), Drepanicinae (Drepanicus, Ditaxis, Theristria, Gerstaeckerella), Calomantispinae (Calomantispa, Nolima), and Mantispinae (remaining Recent genera). Of the fossil genera previously associated with the Mantispidae, Hondelagia is excluded from the family, Promantispa is considered as Mantispidae incertae sedis, and Vectispa (nom. nov. for Promantispa Jarzembowski, a junior homonym of Promantispa Panfilov) is tentatively referred to the Drepanicinae. A short description is given for each subfamily. The geographical distributions of the four subfamilies and of the Australian fauna are briefly discussed.

A key to the genera of the Australian Mantispidae is provided and the Australian Drepanicinae is revised. Twenty-five species are recognized, of which the following are described as new: Ditaxis meridiei; Theristria aruntae, T. attenuata, T. cardaleae, T. commoni, T. dentata, T. gilva, T. imperfects, T. maculosa, T. mouldsorum, T. nigra, T. pallida, T. rieki, T. smithersi, T. storeyi and T. uptoni. The following new synonymies are established: Theristriella Esben-Petersen, 1929 with Theristria Gerstaecker, 1885; Theristria eurysticta Gerstaecker, 1885 with Theristria discolor (Westwood, 1852); Theristria medialis Banks, 1939, T. delicatula var. minor Banks, 1939 and Veura debetazi Navás, 1927 with Theristria hillieri Navás, 1914. Theristriella stigma Esben-Petersen, 1929 is transferred to Theristria Gerstaecker, 1885. Ditaxis McLachlan, 1867, Theristria Gerstaecker, 1885, the previously described species noted above, and the following species, are redescribed: Ditaxis biseriata (Westwood, 1852); Theristria basalis Banks, 1939, T. delicatula (Westwood, 1852), T. felina Gerstaecker, 1885, T. stigmalis Banks, 1939, T. tillyardi Handschin, 1935. Keys and distribution maps for the species are provided.

© CSIRO 1986

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