Henrique Rodrigues spent four weeks between March and April 2017 in Brazil doing fieldwork. For three weeks he looked for praying mantises for his PhD project, while also looking to increase knowledge on Brazilian biodiversity. He visited five National Parks in two different biomes, the Cerrado (the Brazilian Savannah) and the Atlantic Forest (a complex forest on the east of Brazil), having traveled 2000 miles. After that, he spent another week attending the first workshop dedicated exclusively to praying mantises, which took place in Manaus, at the heart of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. He met other praying mantis researchers from around the world and was able to look for mantises from the Amazon.
Gavin Svenson and Sydney Brannoch travelled to Europe to review mantid collections in Dresden, Prague and Vienna, and present at the Insect Phylogeny conference in Dresden. Many mantid specimens were borrowed from NHM Vienna for research projects at CMNH.
2015 Insect Phylogeny Conference, Dresden
Gavin Svenson, Harald Bruckner of NHM Vienna, and Sydney Brannoch on the roof of the museum in Vienna
Some of the borrowed specimens
Gavin Svenson and Sydney Brannoch spent two weeks in May 2015 conducting fieldwork in Vietnam. They were part of a larger entomological collecting group, composed of Seth Bybee (Brigham Young University), Wendy Moore (University of Arizona), Nathan Lord (Georgia College), and James Roberston (University of Arizona). Svenson and Brannoch collected many different species of praying mantises in Cát Tiên National Park, Tà Cú Mountain, and Phú Quốc National Park. The entomologists collected many incredible insect specimens, had the opportunity to see Vietnam’s largest reclining Buddha, and ate a lot of Phở!
Gavin Svenson and Rick Wherley visited the collections at the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, just outside of Brussels, the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, and the Natural History Museum in Geneva to examine mantids and photograph type specimens for the online image database.
Gavin amazed by a specimen in Tervuren
Roger Roy, Nicolas, and Gavin outside the MNHN in Paris
Gavin, John Hollis, and Peter Schwendinger in the collection in Geneva
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.
In May 2014, Julio Rivera and Rick Wherley visited the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia to study their mantid collection and collect images of type specimens.