Minnesota Praying Mantises

 
Order Mantodea
 

Mantodea is the order of insects known as praying mantises or mantids. Mantids are characterized by the large size, over one inch in total length; long, slender bodies; triangular heads; bulging compound eyes; short, thread-like antennae; flexible necks that allow them to look “over their shoulder”; greatly lengthened first segment of the thorax; and front legs adapted for grasping prey with the first segment greatly lengthened and the third and fourth segments armed with spines. The last part of the leg, corresponding to the foot, has five segments. The middle and hind legs are long and slender; have shorter first segments; and are used for walking, standing, and leaping. When they are stationary the posture is upright and the front legs are raised and folded, a stature that has led to the common name praying mantis. They lay eggs in a mass of foam that dries into an egg case with a papery outer shell. The eggs overwinter and hatch all at once in the spring.

Sources differ, but the order Mantodea currently includes 14, 15, or 21 living and 2 extinct families, about 430 genera, and about 2,300 or more than 2,400 species worldwide. In North America north of Mexico there are just 20 species in 12 genera. There are just two species found in Minnesota.

The order Mantodea was formerly classified as a suborder and placed within the order Orthoptera along with Walkingsticks; Cockroaches and Termites; and Grasshoppers, Crickets, and Katydids.

 

 

 

 

           
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Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis sinensis)

 

 

 

     

European mantis (Mantis religiosa)

 
     

 

   

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If you do not see a linked page for an insect in the list at left, or the insect does not appear in the list, you can still upload a photo or video as an email attachment or report a sighting for that insect. Click on one of the buttons below and type in the common name and/or scientific name of the insect in your photo, video, or sighting. A new page will be created for that insect featuring your contribution.

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Created: 7/2/2019

Last Updated:

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