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'Ututo' Stick Insect

Monticomorpha sp

Description:

The 1st picture is a male, the 2nd a female. I'd be happy to learn more about these insects: species, etc. Uniformly glossy black, about 5 cm in length. To my surprise, I didn't find these phasmids on or among vegetation, but under logs and rocks (they're probably active at night). "Ututo" is what they're locally called, and apparently they can release a defensive chemical from glands behind their head, which can be used as an insect repellent and antiseptic.

Habitat:

Ecuadorian Andes, in the town of Cuenca at about 2500 m above sea level. Under logs and rocks in areas with dense vegetation.

Notes:

Species does not yet have a name.

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7 Comments

Felix Fleck
Felix Fleck 3 years ago

This species is currently being described.

Felix Fleck
Felix Fleck 3 years ago

Thank you for the tip!

AlbertKang
AlbertKang 3 years ago

Hi Felix, I can't be sure if your Spotting match the species - Monticomorpha marshallae.

I have no expertise in the taxanomy, but you can look up this page for further reference :

http://www.phasmatodea.com/web/guest/89

Felix Fleck
Felix Fleck 3 years ago

Are you positive about this being a match?

AlbertKang
AlbertKang 3 years ago

The Holotypes and Paratypes of Monticomorpha marshallae were from Parámos de Matanga, near Shina at around 3,250 - 3,300 masl.

Felix Fleck
Felix Fleck 3 years ago

Thanks AlbertKang! These were spotted near the Cajas NP, at quite a lower altitude though. I did see a phasmid in the NP, at about 4000 m above sea level, but I think it was a different species... I shall post a picture, maybe someone recognises it.

AlbertKang
AlbertKang 3 years ago

The location where you found them seems to be near to El Cajas National Park, Azuay Prov. A species of Monticomorpha was described from specimens found from El Cajas National Park, Azuay Prov, its Monticomorpha marshallae, described by Conle & Hennemann in 2002.

Felix Fleck
Spotted by
Felix Fleck

Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

Spotted on Jul 16, 2016
Submitted on Jul 29, 2016

Spotted for Mission

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