A new Chinese Mesozoic stick insect
Renphasma sinica gen. et sp. nov. is described from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation in Liaoning. It has the general habitus of the Mesozoic “stick−insects”, with a short thorax, and broad and long tegmina, as long as the hindwings. Its pattern of tegmina venation is typical of the Mesozoic Phasmatodea, also present in the Eocene stick insect family Gallophasmatidae, viz. archaeorthopteran organisation of median and cubital veins. On the other side it has a vomer typical of modern Phasmatodea, both supporting the hypothesis that the Mesozoic, Cainozoic, and modern stick insects belong to the same clade. The pattern of dark and hyaline spots on the wings of Renphasma is probably related to mimicry with plants.