Wieland, F. 2013. The phylogenetic system of Mantodea (Insecta: Dictyoptera). – Species, Phylogeny & Evolution 3,1: 3-222.
Praying mantises (Mantodea) are a charismatic group of raptorial insects. Their main distribution encompasses the tropical and subtropical regions of the world where they have conquered almost every habitat including the sandy deserts. Mantodea are well-known to the public. Their highly moveable heads and an impressive appearance, ranging from conspicuously colourful to well-camouflaged and plant-like, add to their popularity.
Despite their often fantastic looks and interesting behaviour, Mantodea have been mostly neglected by science in the past century. A renaissance of praying mantis research by both molecular and morphological means has recently started to contribute immensely to our understanding of these fascinating insects and their evolution.
This volume presents the first phylogenetic analysis of Mantodea based exclusively on an extensive morphological dataset comprising the description and detailed discussion of 152 morphological characters for 122 species from the greater part of the taxonomical subgroups. Observations on fossil mantises, postembryonic development, and sexual dimorphism are considered for tracing character evolution, and the results are compared with the latest molecular findings.
The structures of many rare taxa are shown in detail for the first time, including the forelegs of Chaeteessa, Mantoida, and Metallyticus. Selected characters and their evolution are elucidated in further detail, for example head processes, asymmetrical male antennomeres, female digging structures, and the aberrant foreleg morphology of Chaeteessa and Metallyticus. Hypotheses on the early evolution of the mantodean lifestyle are presented.
This monograph contains more than 460 figures, including detailed drawings and SEM images of morphological structures, making this volume the most comprehensive work on mantodean morphology to date.
GEOlino, Germany’s biggest science and nature journal for kids, published an article on Mantodea research in the April issue. It describes Frank Wieland’s and Kai Schütte’s work on mantodean systematics and morphology. In addition to the article there is an online movie clip presenting pictures of mantises, the entomology collection of the Zoological Museum of Hamburg as well as an interview with Frank talking about mantis research.
Click here for watching the movie clip.
Cleveland Magazine featured Svenson and Mantodea research in a feature on local innovations and research.
See the article
Update: The links in the original post below are no longer active. However, you can view two videos on the CMNH YouTube site here and here.
Gavin Svenson, Nate Hardy, and Julio Rivera are departing on a two week collecting trip to the Loreto Province in northern Peru. You can follow this trip at the CMNH website where tracking information and from the field updates will be posted.
Otherwise you can see the tracking updates directly from our GPS link mapping site, which provides location data and location posts throughout the trip.
Abstract Species of mantids from the Department of Tolima, Colombia, were identified from specimens collected in the field and from material deposited in the “Museo del Laboratorio de Entomología” from “Universidad del Tolima”. Surveys were carried out in the Coello River Basin; the area was divided into ten sections according to the altitude; two
points were chosen in each section and mantids were collected from 100 m2 transects. Each site was surveyed for 45 minutes. In Tolima 22 species of mantids were found, including a possible new species in the genera Acanthops and the new record from Colombia Parastagmatoptera serricornis. Pseudomiopteryx infuscata is confirmed from Colombia. Descriptive figures of oothecae and genitalia of some collected species are shown.
Ariza, G.M., Salazar E., J.A., & Canal, N.A. 2012. Especies y distribución de los mántidos (Mantodea) del departamento del Tolima, Colombia. – Revista entomologia 38(2): 282-290. (In Spanish)
The new edition of the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology has been published and now features a chapter on Mantodea.
Wieland, F. & Schütte, K. 2012. Mantodea, pp. 407-409, in McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 11th edition, Volume 10, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2012.
In October 2012, Antonio Agudelo visited the Zoological Museum of the University of Hamburg (ZMUH) – just one station on his long trip through the European collections – meeting with Kai Schütte and Frank Wieland. During his stay, Antonio studied the neotropical Mantodea material.
Kai, Frank and Antonio in the Mantodea-collection of the ZMUH.
Close encounters – Antonio meets Idolomantis diabolica
Listen to audiocast (link on page) on WKSU, Kent State University’s award-winning NPR News and Classical Music public radio station. Serving more than 20 Ohio counties and parts of Western Pennsylvania, 89.7 WKSU operates from the station’s broadcast center in Kent and via repeater stations at 89.1 WKSV in Thompson, 89.3 WKRW in Wooster, 91.5 WKRJ in New Philadelphia, 90.7 WNRK in Norwalk, and via translator station 95.7 in Ashland.
Thanks to Jeff St. Clair for a well-done broadcast on praying mantis systematics research!
Last week, Frank Wieland visited Gavin Svenson at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Throughout the week they worked on the Smithsonian Mantodea collection, getting an overview and looking for hidden treasures. One focus lay on the morphology of flower mantises for the ongoing revision of that group.
Wieland and Svenson in the CMNH insect collection.
The CMNH insect collection.
Mantises may look mean but the giant Devonian fish Dunkleosteus, of which many specimens have been found in Ohio, certainly looked meaner…