Revision of Vatinae

Alangularis multilobata

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.

Svenson and Brannoch visit Dresden, Prague, and Vienna

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

New Pub! Hymenopodidae Revision

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


See the paper at:

See the CMNH website story on this publication here.

Vietnam Fieldwork

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!

Museum collections studied in Tervuren, Paris, and Geneva

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