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Praying mantids and their relatives

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taxon links [up-->]Toxoderidae [up-->]Empusidae [up-->]Mantoida [up-->]Acanthopidae [up-->]Chaeteessidae [up-->]Thespidae [up-->]Sibyllidae [up-->]Metallyticus [up-->]Ambermantis wozniaki [up-->]Baissomantis [up-->]Liturgusidae [up-->]Tarachodidae [up-->]Mantidae [up-->]Hymenopodidae [up-->]Eremiaphilidae [up-->]miscellaneous fossil Mantodea [up-->]Amorphoscelidae [up-->]Iridopterygidae extinct icon extinct icon extinct icon Not MonophyleticNot MonophyleticNot MonophyleticNot MonophyleticNot Monophyletic[down<--]Dictyoptera Interpreting the tree
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Classification and relationships after Ehrmann (2002), Grimaldi (2003) and Svenson and Whiting (2004). See the Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships below.
Containing group: Dictyoptera


About 2300 described species in about 430 genera.

mantis: soothsayer or prophet


Derived features: Other characteristics:

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

The most commonly followed classification of Mantodea is that of Beier (1964, 1968), who divided the group into eight families. Chaeteessidae and Metallyticidae have traditionally been considered to have diverged early from the remaining Mantodea (Klass 1997, Roy 1999):

     ============ Chaeteessidae 
     |=========== Metallyticidae
  ===|     ====== Mantoididae
     |     |
     |     |===== Amorphoscelidae 
     |     |
     |     |===== Eremiaphilidae 
           |===== Hymenopodidae 
           |===== Mantidae 
           ====== Empusidae 

In a study of external male genitalia in select mantodean and blattarian taxa, Mantoida was the sister group of the remaining Mantodea, with first Chaeteessidae and then Metallyticidae diverging later (Klass 1997):

     ========= Mantoida (Mantoididae)
     |  ====== Chaeteessa (Chaeteessidae)
        |  === Metallyticus (Metallyticidae)
           === Sphodromantis (Mantidae)

Grimaldi (2003) performed a phylogenetic analysis of many fossil and extant mantids. This analysis suggested a basal grade of fossil taxa, with Baissomantis as sister to Mantodea sensu stricto. Ambermantis and all extant mantids (Eumantodea) formed a clade (Neomantodea). Chaeteessidae was sister to all other extant mantids. (In the phylogeny below, * denotes a fossil taxon.)

     ===================== Baissomantidae*
  ===|  ================== (paraphyletic grade of fossil taxa)*
     |  |
     ===|  =============== Ambermantidae*
        |  |
	===|  ============ Chaeteessidae
	   |  |
	   |  |  ========= Mantoididae
	   ===|  |
	      |  |======== Metallyticidae
	      |  |
	      ===|  ====== Amorphoscelidae
  		 |  |
		 |  |===== Eremiaphilidae
		    |  === Empusidae
		    |  |
		    ===|== Hymenopodidae
		       === Mantidae

Ehrmann (2002) revised the classification of Mantodea, recognizing several new families and subfamilies, and many new genera. Svenson and Whiting's (2004) molecular phylogenetic analysis revealed the paraphyly of several of these families, subfamilies, and genera.

Other Names for Mantodea


Balderson, J. 1984. Catalogue of Australian Mantodea. CSIRO Technical Paper No. 23.

Balderson, J. and K. H. L. Key. 1991. Mantodea (Praying mantids). Pages 348-356 in Insects of Australia: A Textbook for Students and Research Workers. Volume I. Second Edition. I. D. Naumann, P. B. Carne, J. F. Lawrence, E. S. Nielsen, J. P. Spradberry, R. W. Taylor, M. J. Whitten and M. J. Littlejohn eds. Carlton, Victoria, Melbourne University Press.

Beier, M. 1964. Blattopteroidea Mantodea. Pages 829-970 in Bronn's Klassen und Ordnungen des Tierreichs 5.

Beier, M. 1968. 12. Ordnung Mantodea (Fangheuschrecken). Pages 1-47 in Handbuch der Zoologie 4(2) 2/12. J.-G. Helmcke, D. Starck, and H. Wermuth, eds. de Gruyter, Berlin.

Béthoux, O. and F. Wieland. 2009. Evidence for Carboniferous origin of the order Mantodea (Insecta: Dictyoptera) gained from forewing morphology. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 156(1):79-113.

Ehrmann, R. 2002. Mantodea: Gottesanbeterinnen der Welt. Natur und Tier, Münster.

Grimaldi, D. 2003. A revision of Cretaceous mantises and their relationships, including new taxa (Insecta: Dictyoptera: Mantodea). American Museum Novitates 3412:1-47.

Grimaldi, D. and M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press.

Kaltenback, A. P. 1996. Unterlagen für eine Monographie der Mantodea des südlichen Afrika: 1. Artenbestand, geographische Verbreitung und Ausbreitungsgrenzen (Insecta: Mantodea). Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien 98B:193-346.

Kaltenback, A. P. 1998. Unterlagen fur eine Monographie der Mantodea (Insecta) des südlichen Afrika: 2. Bestimmungstabellen für die höheren Taxa, Nachträge zum Artenbestand. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien 100B:19-59.

Klass, K. D. 1997. The external male genitalia and the phylogeny of Blattaria and Mantodea. Bonner zoologische Monographien 42:1-341.

Lombardo, F. 1997. New and little known Mantodea from eastern and central southern Africa. Journal of Orthoptera Research 6:69-81.

Lombardo, F. and B. Agabiti. 2001. The mantids from Ecuador, with some biogeographic considerations. Journal of Orthoptera Research 10(1):89-104.

Maes, J.-M. and R. Roy. 1999. Orden Mantodea. In Maes, J.-M., Insectos de Nicaragua vol. I., Setab, Bosawas, Marena, Managna: 60-63, 2 fig.

Marshall, J. A. 1975. A catalogue of the primary types of Mantodea (Dictyoptera) in the British Museum (Natural History). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology, 31 (8):309-329.

Mukherjee, T. K., A. K. Hazra, and A. K. Ghosh. 1995. The mantid fauna of India (Insecta: Mantodea). Oriental-Insects 29:185-358.

Preston-Mafham, K. 1990. Grasshoppers and Mantids of the World. Blandford, London. 192 pp.

Prete, F. R., H. Wells, P. H. Wells, and L. E. Hurd, eds. 1999. The Praying Mantids. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, London.

Ramsey, G. W. 1990. Mantodea (Insecta): with a review of aspects of functional morphology and biology. Fauna of New Zealand 19:1-96.

Roy, R. 1987. General observations on the systematics of Mantodea. Pages 483-488 in Evolutionary Biology of Orthopteroid Insect. B. Baccetti), ed. Halsted Press (John Wiley & Sons), New York.

Roy, R. 1999. Morphology and taxonomy. Pages 19-40 in The Praying Mantids. F. R. Prete, H. Wells, P. H. Wells, and L. E. Hurd, eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, London.

Svenson, G.J. and M.F. Whiting. 2004. Phylogeny of Mantodea based on molecular data: evolution of a charismatic predator. Systematic Entomology 29(3): 342-352.

Terra, P. S. 1995. Revisao sistematica dos generos de louva-a-deus da regiao Neotropical (Mantodea). [Systematics of the Neotropical genera of praying mantis (Mantodea).] Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 39(1):13-94.

Tindale, N. B. 1923. Review of Australian Mantidae. Records of the South Australian Museum 2:425-457.

Vrsansky, P. 2002. Origin and the early evolution of mantises. AMBA Projekty 6(1):1-16.

Wang, T. 1993. Synopsis on the Classification of Mantodea from China. Shanghai Scientific and Technological, Literature Publishing House, Shanghai.

Information on the Internet

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Metallyticus splendidus
Reference E. Giglio-Tos. 1921. Orthoptera. Fam. Mantidae. Subfam. Eremiaphilinae. Genera Insectorum de P. Wytsman 177:1-36
Sex Female
Scientific Name Metoxypilus
Reference E. Giglio-Tos. 1913. Orthoptera. Fam. Mantidae. Subfam. Perlamantinae. Genera Insectorum de P. Wytsman 144:1-13
Sex Male
Scientific Name Blepharopsis mendica
Reference M. Beier. 1934. Mantodea. Fam. Mantidae. Subfam. Sibyllinae and Empusinae. Genera Insectorum de P. Wytsman 197:1-10
Sex Male
Scientific Name Archimantis monstrosa
Reference M. Beier. 1935. Mantodea. Fam. Mantidae. Subfam. Mantinae. Genera Insectorum de P. Wytsman 203:1-146
Sex Female
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Tree of Life Web Project. 2003. Mantodea. Praying mantids and their relatives. Version 01 January 2003 (temporary). http://tolweb.org/Mantodea/8213/2003.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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