Prayers for fossil mantis unfulfilled: Prochaeradodis enigmaticus Piton, 1940 is a cockroach (Blattodea)

Yingying CUI, Dominic A. EVANGELISTA & Olivier BÉTHOUX

en Geodiversitas 40 (15) - Pages 355-362

Published on 02 August 2018

The fossil species Prochaeradodis enigmaticus Piton, 1940, from Menat (France, Paleocene) has been regarded as a crown-Mantodea (praying mantis) and was subsequently used as one of the very few temporal calibration points relevant for the order. Ambiguities in previous descriptions prompted us to re-examine the type material. Based on our new observations and a broad comparative analysis across Dictyoptera, we recognized three independent morphological character states supporting an unequivocal placement of the fossil within Blattodea (cockroaches and termites). These states are: 1) in forewing, the AA area has intercalary veins; 2) in forewing, ScP is short and oblique; and 3) in hind wing, CuA has many posterior branches not reaching the posterior wing margin but the cubital furrow. This new placement discounts the use of this fossil as a Mantodea tree calibration point.


Polyneoptera, Blattaria, Blattoptera, Blattida, dating, morphology, palaeoentomology

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