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*** Note: KnowYourInsects.org does its best to include correct identifications of insect photos. It’s always possible that we made a mistake, however, so if you see a misidentification, please contact us and we will correct it. Thanks!

Order Mantodea: the mantises — Examples

Families represented below:
Hymenopodidae
Liturgusidae
Mantidae

Hymenopodidae

Spiny Flower Mantis (Order Mantodea)
Spiny Flower Mantis, Pseudocreobotra wahlbergi, family Hymenopodidae.
□ OK, this is just gorgeous! From the striping on the legs to the pink swirl on the wing, insects don’t get much prettier than this one!.
Photographed by: Jane Stickler. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: western Kenya, Africa. Date: 14 February, 2017.
Spiny Flower Mantis (Order Mantodea)
Spiny Flower Mantis, Pseudocreobotra wahlbergi, family Hymenopodidae.
□ And here is this spectacular insect from the top. Beautiful.
Photographed by: Jane Stickler. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: western Kenya, Africa. Date: 14 February, 2017. Jane says, “I haven’t found anyone here who has seen one before.”

Mantidae

Hooded Mantid (Choeradodis strumaria)
Hooded Mantid, Choeradodis strumaria, family Mantidae.
□ The “hood” (an expansion of the insect’s pronotum) is perfect for helping this mantid blend into a leafy background. Hidden, it lies in wait to nab a passing prey insect.
Photographed and identified to as a mantid by: K J Westman. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Nitulemada, Digana, Rajawella, Kandy, Sri Lanka. Date: 17 March, 2017. K J says, “During my more than 20 years in Sri Lanka, I have seen a lot of Praying Mantises but not anyone like this before.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “How exciting!”
Hooded Mantid (Choeradodis strumaria)
Hooded Mantid, Choeradodis strumaria, family Mantidae.
□ This is another view of the Hooded Mantid in the previous photo, just in a bit different light. The green really pops in this image.
Photographed and identified to as a mantid by: K J Westman. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Nitulemada, Digana, Rajawella, Kandy, Sri Lanka. Date: 17 March, 2017.
Chinese Mantis (Order Mantodea)
Chinese Mantis, Tenodera aridifolia, family Mantidae.
□ One of the characteristics of the Chinese Mantis is that its wings extend all the way to the end of the abdomen and even a bit beyond. It is believed that Chinese Mantises arrived in North America near the and of the 19th century. Today, they are quite common throughout the eastern United States and eastern Canada.
Photographed and identified to order by: Norine Nichols. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Bird Lake, Osseo, Michigan, USA. Date: 30 August, 2014. Norine says, “Mantises are one of my favorites. They are so interesting! This one hung around most of the day on our deck.”
Chinese Mantis (Order Mantodea)
Chinese Mantis, Tenodera aridifolia, family Mantidae.
□ Notice the typical pose of this mantis, holding its front legs bent and at the ready to lash out and grasp a passing insect for a meal.
Photographed and identified to order by: Norine Nichols. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Bird Lake, Osseo, Michigan, USA. Date: 30 August, 2014.
Chinese mantis
Chinese mantis, mating pair, Tenodera aridifolia, family Mantidae.
□ The female’s larger size is obvious in this mating pair.
Photographed and identified to order by: Deirdre Dooley. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: Columbus, Ohio. Date: 1 September, 2016. Deidre says she took the photo “right in the middle of downtown Columbus!”
Chinese mantis
Chinese mantis, Tenodera aridifolia, family Mantidae.
Photographed and identified to order by: Tony L. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: central New Jersey, USA. Date: 11 September, 2017. Tony says, “And this little friend has been coming back to the same hunting ground for two weeks.”
Chinese mantis
Chinese mantis, Tenodera aridifolia, family Mantidae.
Photographed and identified to order by: Tony L. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: central New Jersey, USA. Date: 11 September, 2017. Tony says, “And this little friend has been coming back to the same hunting ground for two weeks.”
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Carolina Mantis (Order Mantodea)
Carolina Mantis, Stagmomantis carolina, female, family Mantidae.
□ A characteristic of the female Carolina Mantis is the length of the wings — they only extend about two-thirds of the way down the abdomen. If you look closely at this wonderful photo, you can see the wing, which ends just past the yellow goldenrod flower cluster.
Photographed and identified to order by: Mike Bloodworth. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Mike’s full-size image here. Location: Smith County, Texas, USA. Date: October 2016.
Carolina Mantis (Order Mantodea)
Carolina Mantis, Stagmomantis carolina, female, family Mantidae.
□ That bumblebee at the top of the photo would be wise to fly away before the mantis decides it’s time for a meal. (This is a front view of the mantis in the previous photo.)
Photographed and identified to order by: Mike Bloodworth. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. See Mike’s full-size image here. Location: Smith County, Texas, USA. Date: October 2016.
Carolina Mantis (Order Mantodea)
Carolina Mantis, female, Stagmomantis carolina, family Mantidae.
Photographed and identified by: Carlo Castoro. Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Date: 2 October, 2017.
California Mantis (Stagmomantis californica)
Mantid, genus Stagmomantis, possibly California Mantis Stagmomantis californica, family Mantidae.
□ The California Mantis is very similar in appearance to the Bordered Mantis (Stagmomantis limbata).
Photographed and identified by: Bill Mertz. Location: Los Angeles, California, USA. Date: 1 November, 2017. Bill says he took this photo while walking through the rose garden just east of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.
European Mantis (Order Mantodea)
European Mantis, Mantis religiosa, family Mantidae.
□ A characteristic of the European Mantis is the bull’s-eye marking (called an eyespot) on the inside of each front leg. The eyespot is evident on this photo.
Photographed and identified to order by: Michelle Alexoff. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Putney, Vermont, USA. Date: 24 October, 2016.
European mantis (<i>Mantis religiosa</i>)
European Mantis, Mantis religiosa, family family Mantidae (the mantids).
□ Notice that the scientific name of this species is Mantis religiosa, which literally means religious mantis. The “religious” part refers to the way it often holds its front legs up off the ground (as shown above), but frequently also bent closer to the body as if it is praying.
Photographed by: Daisy Rulz. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Mayville, Michigan, USA. Date: 23 August, 2017.
Mantid (possibly Sphodromantis)
Mantid, possibly in the genus Sphodromantis, family Mantidae.
Photographed and identified to order by: Dave Foley. Tentatively identified to genus by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Democratic Republic of Congo. Date: 7 October, 2014.
Mantid (possibly Eremoplana infelix)
Mantid, possibly Eremoplana infelix, family Mantidae.
□ The head is quite wide with its eyes positioned far to the sides. (By the way, what looks like a long snout is actually its front leg. There is no snout.) Photographed and identified to order by: Dave Foley. Tentatively identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Lebanon. Date: 7 October, 2014. Dave says, “The photo doesn’t show its colour well, it was a beautiful silvery-gray colour!”
Mantis (Order Mantodea)
Mantis, family Mantidae.
Photographed and identified to order by: Tony L. Location: central New Jersey, USA. Date: 17 October, 2016.

Liturgusidae

Florida Bark Mantis (Gonatista grisea)
Florida Bark Mantis, also known as a Grizzled Mantis or a Lichen Mimic Mantis, Gonatista grisea, family Liturgusidae.
□ Florida Bark Mantis is camouflaged well when it is sitting on a tree trunk. From there, it remains still and waits to ambush its prey: other insects.
Photographed by: Pamela Barber. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Wilmington Island, Georgia, USA. Date: 5 November, 2017. Pam says, “It was really cool because it almost looked like tree mold.”
Add your photo here!
Add your photo here!



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Photos at the top of this website are (from left to right): potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) — photo credit: Scott Bauer, U.S. Department of Agriculture; ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)— photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; sweat bee (Agapostemon splendens) — photo credit: Natalie Allen and Stephanie Kolski, U.S. Geological Survey; preying mantis, monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), hellgrammite (aka toe biter) larva and eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus) — photo credit: Leslie Mertz; Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina) — photo credit: Kay Meng, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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