Zoological Studies

Vol. 62, 2023

(update: 2023.8.11)

Taxonomic Revision, Morphology and Natural History of the Stick Insect Genus Xerosoma Serville, 1831 (Insecta: Phasmatodea)

Phillip Watzke Engelking1,5,*, Victor Morais Ghirotto2,5, Edgar Blois Crispino2,5, Thies H. Büscher3, Raphael Aquino Heleodoro4, Pedro Alvaro Barbosa Aguiar Neves5, and Pitágoras da Conceição Bispo1

1Faculdade de Ciências e Letras de Assis - Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Av. Dom Antônio, 2100, Parque Universitário, Assis/SP, CEP 19806-900. *Correspondence: E-mail: engelking.phillip@gmail.com (Engelking)
E-mail: pcbispo@gmail.com (Bispo)
2Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo (MZUSP), Av. Nazaré, 481 - Ipiranga, São Paulo - SP, 04263-000, Brazil. E-mail: victorghirotto@hotmail.com (Ghirotto); lanrhartan@gmail.com (Crispino)
3Functional Morphology and Biomechanics, Kiel University, 10th floor, Am Botanischen Garten 1-9 D - 24118, Kiel, Germany. E-mail: tbuescher@zoologie.uni-kiel.de (Büscher)
4Programa de pós-graduação em zoologia da Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Av. General Rodrigo Octávio, 6200 - Coroado I, Manaus – AM, 69080-900, Brazil. E-mail: raphaelnatal36@gmail.com (Heleodoro)
5Projeto Phasma, Brazil. E-mail: alvaro3dssa@gmail.com (Neves)

(Received 18 May 2022 / Accepted 28 April 2023 / Published 11 August 2023)
Communicated by Y. Miles Zhang

Stick insects (Phasmatodea) are quite diverse in the Neotropical region. Among them, Xerosoma Serville belongs to Pseudophasmatidae and comprises winged, roughly brownish phasmids that resemble bark or dry branches and inhabit the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. In this study, we present a redescription and revision of the genus that include three valid species, Xerosoma canaliculatum, Xerosoma michaelis, and Xerosoma nannospinus sp. nov.. Xerosoma senticosum syn. nov. was found to be a junior synonym of X. canaliculatum. We also provide an identification key and geographic records for these three species. Additionally, we present a detailed study on the morphology and natural history of X. canaliculatum with the description of its nymphal stages, egg, male genitalia, ontogeny, oviposition method, life habits, defense mechanisms, mating behavior, and other aspects regarding its biology. The study also highlights the shortcomings related to the classification of Xerosomatinae, since its tribes find themselves without proper characterization and contain heterogeneous genera. We expect to provide a basis for a proper diagnosis of Xerosomatinae and encourage future studies on this group, as there is still much to be discovered about this lineage of Neotropical stick insects.

Key words: Animal behavior, Atlantic Forest, Brazilian fauna, Mating behavior, Taxonomy

Citation: Engelking PW, Ghirotto VM, Crispino EB, Büscher TH, Heleodoro RA, Neves PABA, Bispo PC. 2023. Taxonomic revision, morphology and natural history of the stick insect Genus Xerosoma Serville, 1831 (Insecta: Phasmatodea). Zool Stud 62:31. doi:10.6620/ZS.2023.62-31.

Supplementary materials: Fig. S1Fig. S2Supplementary linkVideo S1Video S2