The diversity and phylogeny of oriental praying mantises (genera Rhombodera, Hierodula and Gonypeta) will be investigated using morphology and DNA sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear markers (COI, ND4, H3, rDNA). The widespread Oriental genera Rhombodera and Hierodula are currently considered to be closely related, with however some morphological evidence suggesting a possible polyphyletic nature of both. This work will explore phylogenetic relationships among representatives of these two genera and evaluate the existence of potentially new species. Also, a taxonomic revision of the Oriental genus Gonypeta based on both morphological characters and molecular phylogeny, with the description of several new species will be performed based on a sampling comprising all currently known species of the genus.
Xavier Vermeersch (RBINS, Belgium) Evgeny Shcherbakov (Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia)
Lab work progress: