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Polyphenism of Pseudopogonogaster hebardi (Terra, 1982)

Polyphenism is a very interesting evolutionary phenomenon,  widely distributed among insects but little studied, to which the evolutionary success of insects is largely attributed, by allowing them to separate the use of resources between their different stages of development. However, its causes, effects and implications are still unclear. Studying this phenomenon is extremely important to understand the local adaptations of organisms, the evolutionary changes in response to environmental variables and to identify the factors that allow it to occur and be maintained. In this research we propose to study, describe and carry out experiments on the different morphs (chromatic and morphological variations)   Pseudopogonogaster hebardi  Earth, 1982.

The species of the genus Pseudopogonogaster are insects that prefer the lower part of the vegetation, here they camouflage among lichens, mosses and epiphytes in the cloud forests of the Tropical Andes. Species within this genus are small in size and variable in coloration. It is known that this genus is endemic to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, where 6 species have been recorded, P. iquaquensis Carrejo & Salazar, 2002; P. mucosa Salazar, 2000 and P. marulandae (Salazar, 2002), in Colombia; P. mirabilis Beier, 1942 and P. hebardi (Terra, 1982) in Ecuador, and P. kanjaris Rivera & Yagui, 2011, in Peru.


Photos used in one of the detection experiments by people of the two morphs Morpho Lichen Black and White and Morpho Moss in their microhabitats.

A student downloading from data loggers in the field.


1 Falcon, J. &  Padron, PS .  Natural history of Pseudopogonogaster hebardi, Terra (Mantodea: Thespidae), a polyphenic lichen mantis species from southern Ecuador. Chilean magazine of  Biotax Entomology.

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