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Mantophasmatodea (Heelwalkers): diversity and taxonomic history

There are currently 13 described extant species placed in 10 genera and three families. The order was described and the first extant species described in 2002 from Namibia and Tanzania and placed in the family Mantophasmatidae (Klass et al. 2002). A fossil species from Baltic Amber was described a year earlier (Zompro et al. 2001), but the species' higher taxonomic affinities were left undecided.  Subsequently a further two species were described from Namibia (Zompro & Adis 2002; Zompro et al. 2003) and included in Mantophasmatidae. Five new genera and eight new species collected in South Africa, and another new genus and species from Namibia were described in 2003 (Klass et al. 2003).  Based on DNA molecular analyses and genitalic morphology the higher classification within the order was revised and two new families (Tanzaniophasmatidae and Austrophasmatidae) were also erected (Klass et al. 2003), the latter to accommodate the South African species. Lack of available information concerning genitalic morphology and molecular data for three species (Rhaptophasma kerneggeri; Praedatophasma maraisi; and Tyrannophasma gladiator) has meant that they could not be accommodated within the current classification and for the time being are listed under Family inquirendo indicating that their placement at family level is unresolved.

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