Entité de rattachement
Evolution fonctionnelle et Taxonomie (EvoFoncT)
Habilité(e) à diriger des recherches
Phylogénie, Evolution, Diversification, Socialité, Entomologie


Réseaux sociaux
frederic.legendre [at] mnhn.fr
legendre [at] mnhn.fr
01 40 79 81 26

45 rue Buffon


75005 Paris

Responsabilités dans l'unité

Responsabilités actuelles :

Responsabilités passées :

  • Membre élu puis nommé du conseil d'unité (2005-2007; 2013-2018)

Responsabilités hors unité

Responsabilités actuelles :

Responsabilités passeés :

  • Membre de deux comités ATM au MNHN (2013-2020)
  • Membre du conseil de la Société Française de Systématique (2012-2015)





My research deals with the evolution of insects. I reconstruct phylogenies before using them as a historical reference to test evolutionary hypotheses. Following this phylogenetic approach, I investigate the evolution of social behavior in termites and cockroaches (Insecta : Dictyoptera), test biogeographic and diversification hypotheses, and study the ecomorphology of cockroaches.

Research interests

Nasutitermitinae, Soldiers and workers in Singapore © MNHN

Nasutitermitinae, Soldiers and workers in Singapore



1. Social evolution in cockroaches and termites

In collaboration with E. Bornberg-Bauer (University of Münster, Germany), this project is supported by ANR and DFG. The PhD project of Juliette Berger is instrumental for this project.


Microcerotermes novaecaledoniae
Frédéric Legendre

2. Ecomorphology and burrowing in granular substrate

The aim of Barbara Bignon's PhD project is to establish a new dialogue between the physics of granular media (soil, sand, etc.) and behavioral observations of burrowing cockroaches, in order to address fundamental questions about the biology and physics of movement in granular environments for these insects.


3. Factors of diversification in Insects

Combining tip-dating and diversification analyses, Corentin Jouault and Manuel Brazidec (Phd students) want to decipher the factors that have driven the diversification of insects.

TED Termites

4. Systematics of Blattodea

Planche taxo

A. Phenacisma peltata Karsch, 1896 B. Perisphaerus flexicollis (Walker, 1868) C. Rhabdoblatta pluriramosa (Karny, 1915)



  • ANR-DFG PRCI SocioGenomics (226,700 € ANR + 196,200 € DFG) - 2020-2024.
  • Action Transversale du MNHN (25,000 €) - 2011-2018.
  • Lavoisier Grant (18,000 €), Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, December 2007 - December 2008.
  • Rosen Price (500 $), 3rd best student oral presentation, Hennig XXV, Oaxaca (Mexico), 2006.
  • Marie Stopes Student Travel Award (500 $) in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
  • Travel Grant from Paris Doctoral School ED 392 (1,000 €) in 2006 and 2007
  • PhD Grant, Ministère de l’Education nationale, de la Recherche et des Technologies, October 2004 - September 2007.
  • Master 2 Grant, Ministère de l’Education nationale, de la Recherche et des Technologies, October 2003 - June 2004.


Dans les media

Brut (2024) : Le fascinant cannibalisme sexuel des mantes

France Culture (2020) : Des insectes et des hommes : s’organiser et cohabiter

Zeste de Sciences (2019) : Faut-il être mignon pour survivre ?

Arte Snapschat (2019) : Faut-il sauver les pandas ?

France Info (2019) : Pourquoi les animaux moches sont plus menacés que les autres ?

The Conversation (2018) : Quand l’oiseau fait de l’ombre à l’insecte

RFI (2017) : Nouvelle-Calédonie : des scientifiques pour la protection de la biodiversité

Sciences & Vie (2016) : Comment les cafards peuvent-ils résister aux radiations des essais nucléaires ?

ARTE (2013) : L'odyssée papoue

Wapiti (2011) : La reproduction chez les insectes


legendre_cv_2021.pdf Format (Pdf) - 1.13 Mo

Terrains de recherche

  • Australia 2019. Collecting Blattidae in Queensland. 
  • New Caledonia 2016-2017. Our Planet Reviewed. Study of cockroach communitues and micro-endemism.
  • French Guiana 2015. Our Planet Reviewed. Collecting Orthopteroid Insects in Mitaraka.
  • Philippines 2014. Collecting Blaberidae and Blattidae cockroaches.
  • United States 2013. Collecting in Virginia (Jefferson National Forest).
  • Papua New Guinea 2012. Our Planet Reviewed, IBISCA Niugini. Collecting Orthopteroid Insects along an altitudinal transect on Mount Wilhelm.
  • New-Caledonia 2010. Rapid Assessment Program (Conservation International) on Mount Panié. In charge of Orthopteroïd Insects.
  • Indonesia 2010. Study of cockroach communities with emphasis on Perisphaerus sp. (Blaberidae : Perisphaeriinae).
  • Singapore 2009. Collecting cockroaches with a special emphasis on the subsocial species Perisphaerus flexicollis (Blaberidae : Perisphaeriinae).
  • United States 2008. Field observations and collecting of Tylopelta gibbera (Hemiptera : Membracidae) in Missouri.
  • French Guyana 2006. Study of cockroach communities on Kaw Mountain.


  • Jouault Corentin, Condamine Fabien L., Perrichot Vincent & Legendre Frédéric, avril 2024« Bayesian modelling approaches clarify the evolutionary timing and diversification patterns of Hymenoptera » in Article de colloque - 9th International Conference on Fossil Insects, Arthropods and Amber.. Understanding the origins and macroevolutionary trajectories of lineages is central in evolutionary biology. The insect order… , ,
  • Jouault Corentin, Condamine Fabien, Legendre Frédéric & Perrichot Vincent, mars 2024The Angiosperm Terrestrial Revolution buffered ants against extinction. With ~14,000 extant species, ants are ubiquitous and of tremendous ecological importance. They have undergone remarkable… Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 121, n° 13, e2317795121 Publisher: National Academy of Sciences tex.hal_id: insu-04501144 tex.hal_version: v1
    0027-8424, 1091-6490
  • Jouault Corentin, Condamine Fabien L., Legendre Frédéric & Perrichot Vincent, 2024Reply to Vermeij: Challenges and opportunities in macroevolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences vol. 121, n° 26, e2408795121
    0027-8424, 1091-6490
  • Malem Julien, Robillard Tony, Cluzel Dominique, Bellier Loïc, Nattier Romain, Grandcolas Philippe & Legendre Frédéric, juin 2023Origins of old lineages in New Caledonia: A geologically informed test of the islandhopping hypothesis. Journal of Biogeography , , jbi.14673 tex.earlyaccessdate: JUN 2023 tex.eissn: 1365-2699 tex.unique-id: WOS:001019467500001
    0305-0270, 1365-2699
  • Brazidec Manuel, Legendre Frédéric & Perrichot Vincent, 2023Diversity and phylogeny of the extinct wasp subfamily Lancepyrinae (Hymenoptera, Bethylidae) revealed by mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber. The Lancepyrinae are an extinct subfamily of Bethylidae known exclusively from Cretaceous amber deposits of Lebanon, Spain,… Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny vol. 81, , p. 345-369 Publisher: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung
  • Evangelista Dominic A., Nelson Dvorah, Varadínová Zuzana Kotyková & Legendre Frédéric, 2023Phylogenomics and deep convergence in cockroach hind-wing morphology. Abstract Despite regular advances in Blattodea systematics, several relationships remain controversial or untested in formal… Organisms Diversity & Evolution , ,
    1439-6092, 1618-1077
  • Schubnel Thomas, Mazurier Arnaud, Nel André, Grandcolas Philippe, Desutter-Grandcolas Laure, Legendre Frédéric & Garrouste Romain, 2023Flat does not mean 2D: Using Xray microtomography to study insect wings in 3D as a model for comparative studies. Abstract While not generally used for relatively flat structures, X-ray microtomography can provide decisive insights for… Methods in Ecology and Evolution vol. n/a, n/a, 2041–210X.14132 Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
    2041-210X, 2041-210X
  • Hollier John, Marshall Judith, Legendre Frédéric & Poggi Roberto, 2023An annotated list of the Blattodea (Insecta) described by Henri de Saussure. Part 3: the Blattidae. Revue Suisse de Zoologie vol. 130, n° 1, p. 77-88 Publisher: Muséum d’histoire naturelle tex.hal_id: mnhn-04172951 tex.hal_version: v1
  • Jouault Corentin, Engel Michael S, Legendre Frédéric, Huang Diying, Grandcolas Philippe & Nel André, octobre 2022Incrementing and clarifying the diversity and early evolution of termites (Blattodea: Isoptera). Abstract The past diversity of Isoptera is relatively poorly documented. Many early-diverging families are only represented… Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society vol. 196, n° 2, p. 608-629
    0024-4082, 1096-3642
  • Jouault Corentin, Nel Andre, Legendre Frederic & Condamine Fabien L., juillet 2022Estimating the drivers of diversification of stoneflies through time and the limits of their fossil record. INSECT SYSTEMATICS AND DIVERSITY vol. 6, n° 4, Number: 4 tex.eissn: 2399-3421 tex.orcid-numbers: Legendre, Frederic/0000-0001-5900-8048 Jouault, Corentin/0000-0002-3680-5172 tex.researcherid-numbers: Legendre, Frederic/B-5101-2013 tex.unique-id: WOS:000836427400001