Also found in: Wikipedia.


(invertebrate zoology)
An order equivalent to the family Mantidae in some systems of classification.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(or Mantoptera), an order of predatory insects closely related to roaches. The most characteristic feature of Mantodea is the arrangement of the front pair of legs, which are armed with strong spines used to grasp prey. The prothorax is very elongated, and the head is very mobile, allowing the insect to follow the movements of its prey. The wings are usually fully developed; in several species they are either rudimentary or absent. The body color of many Mantodea imitates the color of the environment and can change during a season—for example, in connection with the drying up of the plant cover. Mantodea primarily inhabit tropical and subtropical countries. More than 2,000 species are known, and there are about 20 species in the southern USSR. The most widely distributed species is the praying mantis (Mantis religiosa); its body is 4–7 cm long.

Mantodea are typical ambushing predatory insects, lying in wait for their prey with their front legs raised (hence the name “praying mantis”). They feed on various insects; several tropical species sometimes attack small vertebrates (lizards and birds). Mantodea’s role as a destroyer of harmful insects has not been sufficiently investigated. Several species are pernicious because they eat useful insects such as bees and chalcid flies.


Bei-Bienko, G. Ia. “Otriad Mantoptera (Mantodea, Mantoidea) —bogomolovye,” Opredelitel’ nasekomykh evropeiskoichasti SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964. Pages 170–173.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
O restante da comunidade (10%) foi representado pelo conjunto denominado Outros, que incluiu Araneae, Auchenorrhyncha, Blattodea, Chilopoda, Coleoptera (formas larvais e adultos), Diplopoda, Heteroptera, Hymenoptera, Isopoda, Isoptera, Mantodea, Neuroptera, Poduromorpha, Pseudoscorpionida, Psocoptera, Sternorrhyncha, Thysanoptera, Trichoptera (larvas e adultos), larvas de Diptera e larvas de Lepidoptera.
The genus Ophiocordyceps Petch, 1931 (Hypocreales: Ophiocordycipitaceae) is a widely distributed group of fungi with approximately 200 described species (CROUS et al., 2004) infecting a wide range of insects from the following orders Coleoptera, Blattaria, Dermaptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Hemiptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera, Mantodea, Orthoptera and Odonata (EVANS, 1982; SUNG et al., 2007; SOSA-GOMEZ et al., 2010; ARAUJO & HUGHES, 2016).
Battiston R, Fontana P (2010) Colour change and habitat preferences in Mantis religiosa (Insecta Mantodea).
Praying mantids (Mantodea: Mantidae) are tritrophic predatory insects living in oldfield habitats, where they consume herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods (Hurd el al., 2015), as well as some pollen from flowers (Beckman and Hurd, 2003).
unident 0.4 0 0 0 Odonatoptera 1.6 0.63 0.56 0 Phasmatodea 0 0.21 0.56 0 Mantodea 0.4 0.21 0.56 0 Orthoptera 7.2 8.44 2.25 5.33 Blattoptera 1.2 0.21 0 0.67 Dermaptera 0.4 0 0.56 0 Heteroptera 5.6 3.80 7.30 1.33 Homoptera 2.0 13.50 1.69 0 Neuroptera 0 0.21 0 0 Coleoptera 45.6 25.74 46.07 30.67 Hymenoptera 22.4 31.65 26.40 36.00 Lepidoptera 2.8 5.91 1.69 2.00 Diptera 0 0.84 1.12 0.67 R.A.
TAXONOMIC descriptions OF MANTIS (MANTODEA) from department of Atlantico, Colombia and comments on THEIR distribution