Sydney K. Brannoch and several collaborators have created the Manual of Praying Mantis Morphology, Nomenclature and Practices, which has been published by ZooKeys. It provides a comprehensive review of historical morphological nomenclature used for praying mantis (Mantodea) morphology, and proposes standard terms for use in all subsequent works pertaining to praying mantis morphology and systematics. Methods are described for the proper collection, preservation and storage of specimens for longevity and ease of study.
See also the CMNH post.
Hondurantemna chespiritoi, A,B ♂; C,D ♀
A new publication in ZooKeys by Henrique M. Rodrigues, Julio Rivera, Neil Reid and Gavin J. Svenson describes a new genus and species of mantid, Hondurantemna chespiritoi. Different cryptic morphologic strategies are noted between immature and adult females. Phylogenetic and morphological analysis places the new genus in the formerly monotypic subfamily Antemninae in the Mantidae family.
See related CMNH website posts here and here.
Ilomantis female genitalia complex
A new publication by Sydney Brannoch and Gavin Svenson published in Insect Systematics & Evolution resurrects the genus Ilomantis and describes a new species I. ginsburgae using morphological characters observed on the female genital complex, a novel character system for delimiting mantodean taxa. Ilomantis ginsburgae was named in honor of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her relentless fight for women’s rights and gender equality.
See also the article and video on the CMNH website.
A new ZooKeys publication by Brannoch & Svenson describes a new genus and species of praying mantis from Madagascar: Cornucollis masoalensis Brannoch & Svenson, 2016. The genus is named for distinctive projections arising from the cervical (i.e., “neck”) region and the species is named for Masoala, the region where the specimen was collected in Madagascar.
Sydney Brannoch describes this research in a video found here.
Alangularis multilobata ♀
A new publication in Systematic Entomology by Svenson et al. describes the revision of the Neotropical horned praying mantis tribe Vatini (Stål) using phylogenetic analysis based on molecular and coded morphological data. The resulting taxonomic treatment includes a new tribe (Heterovatini) within Vatinae containing two historically enigmatic genera. The results also support the synonymy of three genera, the validity of six other established genera, and the identification of one new genus, Alangularis. In addition, the research traces the evolution of the distinctive disruptive camouflage features of this group.
Dr. Svenson describes this research in a video. See also the CMNH website article on this research.
Legendre F, Nel A, Svenson GJ, Robillard T, Pellens R, Grandcolas P (2015) Phylogeny of Dictyoptera: Dating the Origin of Cockroaches, Praying Mantises and Termites with Molecular Data and Controlled Fossil Evidence. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0130127. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130127
See the paper here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_iJfIsJ4GB0anFZODhMekMxWU0/view?usp=sharing
Svenson, G.J., Hardy, N.B., Wightman, H. and Wieland, F. 2015. Of flowers and twigs: phylogenetic revision of the plant-mimicking praying mantises (Mantodea: Empusidae and Hymenopodidae) with a new suprageneric classification. Systematic Entomology Online http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/syen.12134
See the paper at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_iJfIsJ4GB0dUVXNDdubzJpbkE/view?usp=sharing
See the CMNH website story on this publication here.
A new publication by Gavin Svenson in ZooKeys details the mantis type specimens in the collection of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, USA. The USNM collection is currently on loan to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
A new publication in ZooTaxa by Svenson and Vollmer describes the synonymy of genus Majangella and genus Ephippiomantis, and the reclassification of taxon Majangella from within Liturgusidae to within the Hymenopodidae subfamily of Acromantinae, as supported by morphological and molecular data.
Female: Dystacta tigrifrutex
On a collecting trip to Rwanda in May of 2013, Riley Tedrow found both a male and female specimen of a new species of mantid, which he subsequently named Dystacta tigrifrutex. Tedrow, a Case Western Reserve University undergraduate, was part of a team of researchers led by Dr. Gavin Svenson.
Tedrow’s work in identifying the new species was published on May 20, 2014 in ZooKeys. Read more about this discovery and view photos from the trip on the CMNH web site.