Ameles fasciipennis is one of the species of mantises of the Mediterranean and East Asian genus Ameles. Described in 1963 by the Austrian entomologist Alfred Kaltenbach from the only male specimen from eastern Italy found in the museum's collection. It is considered extinct or on the verge of extinction.
Ameles fasciipennis is known from the only male specimen found in the museum collection. In appearance, the species is close to A. spallanzania, the main differences relate to the structure of the genitals.
According to the label, the specimen was found near the town of Tolentino in the province of Macerata, Marche region in eastern Italy. The date is written incomprehensibly, but the mantis was most likely caught in 1871.
Origin and taxonomy
Researchers attribute the species Ameles fasciipennis to the so-called "Paleo-Tyrrhenian" group within the genus Ameles, along with the species A. spallanzania and A. poggii. Probably these species were formed in the Paleocene from a single ancestral form that was common in the modern Tyrrhenian Sea.
Numerous searches for other mantises of this species near Tolentino were unsuccessful. Other species of the genus Ameles, but not Ameles fasciipennis, are found in the dry grassy landscapes typical of mantises of the genus Ameles. It is possible that the species became extinct due to human economic activities. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has included the mantis Ameles fasciipennis in its Red List as a species on the verge of extinction, possibly extinct. The only species of mantis with this status in the IUCN Red List as of 2016.
List of extinct arthropods
Ameles fasciipennis on the Mantodea species file site.