ANSP Museum Trip

This week I visited the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (ANSP) with fellow Mantodea researcher Henrique Rodrigues and Staphylinidae researcher Logan Mullen. While at the ANSP, I had the joy of examining the Kongobatha diademata holotype, described in 1920 by Hebard. The specimen was not in the best condition, but I was able to capture morphological data using this microscope cell phone mount. I took a series of photographs through the microscope of the head capsule, pronotum, foreleg armature, cervix, etc. and with these images I will be able to illustrate the various morphological characters that delimit the species using Adobe Illustrator.

Kongobatha diademata holotype

Kongobatha diademata holotype, imaged through a microscope with a cell phone mount

I also spent some time coding morphological characters of Iridopterygidae and Amorphoscelidae specimens. These data will ultimately be used to inform the phylogenetic revision of those lineages.

The ANSP praying mantis collection pleased me to no end as I was able to examine genera that I had never seen before (e.g., Epsomantis Giglio-Tos, 1915) as well as female specimens of the relatively rare Malagasy Enicophlebia hilara and Enicophlebia pallida.

While there, Henrique and I participated in Isa Betancourt’s live, insect-themed periscope interactive on praying mantises (which can be viewed here).

I would love to return to the Academy soon– so many insects, so little time!


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