The Papua Insects Foundation

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The Mantodea (Praying Mantids) of Papua

Kai Schütte & Reinhard Ehrmann

Mantodea, known as praying mantids are predatory insects with adapted raptorial forelegs which capture prey with a tight grip without nearly any chance of escape. Food normally consists of other invertebrates, although small vertebrates are known to be eaten from time to time, as well.
Mantids and especially females are known for their voracity because their food requirement increases after mating. In many species the mating behaviour can be complex because the male risks not to be recognised as potential mating partner but as a food resource. The female, depending on the species and the nutritional condition, is able to produce a high number of eggs (from less than a dozen up to several hundreds) which are laid in a foam covered egg case (ootheca) that should protect them from heat, drought and predation.
About 2400 recent species are known world wide (Ehrmann 2002, Otte 2005). Sexual dimorphism is a common phenomenon, and variability within a species is often unknown due to undercollecting and small numbers of available specimens. In general, the south-east Asian and Papuan Mantodea fauna is poorly studied and several undescribed species are supposed to occur on the different islands and the continent. This is reflected in our check list (compiled from the cited literature and after Ehrmann 2002) of the only 15 known species from the Papua Indonesian main island and additional 8 species from adjacent islands.
For the whole island of New Guinea and circumjacent islands about 86 species are known.

More information on how to collect and prepare Mantises

Listed Papua species: 15 [11 endemic species for Papua Indonesia]

grey coloured: species from adjacent islands



Metoxypilus Giglio-Tos, 1913

costalis (Westwood, 1889)
spinosus Giglio-Tos, 1913



Acromantis Saussure, 1870

australis Saussure, 1871
aruana Westwood,1889



Stenomantis Saussure, 1871

novaeguineae (De Haan, 1842)



Orthodera Burmeister, 1838

burmeisteri Wood-Mason, 1889
longicollis, Brancsik, 1897


Tenodera Burmeister, 1838

australasiae (Leach, 1814)
darchii Mac Leay, 1827
tessellata Burmeister, 1838
intermedia Saussure, 1870

blanchardi Giglio-Tos,1912 (Kei islands)

costalis (Blanchard, 1853)

Hierodula Burmeister, 1838

ansusana (Giglio-Tos, 1912)

aruana Westwood, 1889 (Aru islands)
tertiata Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1898

atrocoxata Brunner v. Wattenwyl, 1898 (Aru islands)

biaka Deeleman-Reinhold, 1957

jobina (Giglio-Tos, 1912)

kapaurana (Giglio-Tos, 1912)

maculisternum Werner, 1925 (Kei islands)

pygmaea Werner, 1933

schulzei (Giglio-Tos, 1912)
ssp. schulzei (Giglio-Tos, 1912)

sorongana (Giglio-Tos, 1912)
ssp. sorongana (Giglio-Tos, 1912)

werneri (Giglio-Tos, 1912) (Kei islands)

Rhombodera Burmeister, 1838

boschmai Deeleman-Reinhold, 1957

keiana (Giglio-Tos, 1912) (Kei islands)

Tamolanica Werner, 1923

andaina (Giglio-Tos, 1912)

katauana (Giglio-Tos, 1912)
decipiens Werner, 1923

tamolana (Brancsik, 1897)

[last updated on 1st November 2009]


The list contains all publications we used for the checklist.

Beier, M., 1929. Einige neue Mantiden aus der Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien. Zoologischer Anzeiger 80(5-6): 129-139.
Beier, M., 1935. Genera Insectorum. Mantodea. Subfamilie: Thespinae. Wytsman, Lfg. 200, pp. 32.
Beier, M., 1965. Die Mantodeen Neu-Guineas (Dictyoptera). Pacific Insects 3: 473-502.
Beier, M., 1966. Die Mantiden der Noona Dan Expedition nach den Philippinen und Bismarck Inseln. Entomologiske Meddelelser 34: 361-370.
Brancsik, C., 1897. Series Orthopterorum novorum. Jahresheft des Naturwissenschaftlichen Vereines des Trencsiner Comitates 19-20: 52-71.
Deeleman-Reinhold, C. L., 1957. Notes sur les Mantides du Musee de Leyde avec la description d´un nouveau genre et de quelques espèces nouvelles. Zoölogische Mededelingen, Leiden 35(6): 55-67.
Ehrmann, R., 2002. Mantodea. Gottesanbeterinnen der Welt. Natur- und Tierverlag pp. 519.
Giglio-Tos, E., 1912. Mantidi esotici. V.- Mantis- Tenodera- Hierodula- Rhombodera. Bollettino della Societa Entomologica Italiana, Firenze 43: 3-167.
Giglio-Tos, E., 1913. Genera Insectorum. Mantodea. Subfamilie: Perlamantinae. Wytsman, Lfg. 144, pp. 13.
Giglio-Tos, E., 1915. Mantidi esotici. Generi e specie nuove. Bollettino della Societa Entomologica Italiana, Firenze 46: 31-108.
Giglio-Tos, E., 1917. Mantidi esotici. Generi e specie nuove. Bollettino della Societa Entomologica Italiana, Firenze 48: 43-108.
Hebard, M., 1920. Studies in Malayan, Papuan and Australian Mantidae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Science of Philadelphia 71: 14-82.
Milledge, G. A., 1990. Revision of the genus Nesoxypilus Beier (Mantodea: Amorphoscelidae: Paraoxypilinae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 50(2): 347-355.
Milledge, G. A., 1997. Revision of the tribe Archimantini (Mantidae: Mantinae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 56(1): 1-63.
Otte, D. & L. Spearman, 2005. Mantida species file. Catalog of the Mantids of the world. Otte & Spearman. pp. 489.
Saussure, H., 1871. Mélanges Orthoptérologiques - Mantides. Genève & Bale. Suppl., 3. Lfg., 21: 363-462.
Stål, C. 1871. Orthoptera quaedam africana descripsit C. Stål. Öfversigt af Kongliga Vetenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar 3: 375-401.
Werner, F., 1911. Die Mantodeen der Aru- und Kei-Inseln. Abhandlungen der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft 33: 389-396.
Werner, F., 1912. Mantodea und Phasmatodea. In: Michaelsen, W. & R. Hartmeyer (eds.) Die Fauna Südwest-Australiens. Ergebnisse der Hamburger südwest-australischen Forschungsreise 1905. Gustav Fischer. 4: 47-56.
Werner, F., 1921. Erster Beitrag zur Mantodeenfauna von Niederländisch-Indien. Treubia 2(1): 125-135.
Werner, F., 1922a. Zur Kenntnis der Mantodeenfauna der niederländischen Kolonien. Zoölogische Mededelingen, Leiden 7: 115-126.
Werner, F., 1922b. Philippine mantid, or praying insects. Philippine Journal of Science, Manila 21(2): 147-159.
Werner, F., 1923. Zweiter Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Mantodeen von Niederländisch-Indien. Treubia 3(3-4): 387-404.
Werner, F., 1925. Vierter Beitrag zur Mantodeenfauna von Niederländisch-Indien. Treubia 6(3-4): 476-486.
Werner, F., 1928. Zur Kenntnis der Mantodeenfauna des Hinterlandes von Kamerun und des Sepikgebietes von Neuguinea. Mitteilungen des Zoologischen Museum Berlin 14(1): 13-41.
Werner, F., 1929. Über einige Mantiden aus China (Expedition Stötzner) und andere neue oder seltene Mantiden des Museums Dresden. Entomologische Zeitung 90: 74-78.
Werner, F., 1930. Über eine kleine Sammlung von Mantodeen von den Salomoninseln. Societas entomologica: Organ für den internationalen Entomologenverein 45(9): 38.
Werner, F., 1933a. Fünfter Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Mantodeen von Niederländisch- Indien. Treubia 14: 255-272, Taf. 8.
Werner, F., 1933b. Einige teilweise neue asiatische und australische Mantodeen. Revue Suisse de Zoologie 40(29): 441-447.
Werner, F., 1933c. Neue Orthopteren im Naturhistorischen Museum Basel. Über einige von H. Hediger auf Neuguinea gesammelten Mantodeen. Verhandlungen der naturforschenden Gesellschaft Basel 43: 1-3.
Westwood, J. O., 1889. Revisio Insectorum Familiae Mantidarum, speciebus novis aut minus cognitis descriptis et delineatis. Gurney and Jackson. pp. 55.
Wood-Mason, J., 1878. 3.- On new and little-known Mantidae. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 38: 580-587.
Wood-Mason, J., 1882. On new and little-known Mantodea. Journal Asiatic Society of Bengal 51(2): 21-36.
Wood-Mason, J., 1889. A catalogue of the Mantodea, with descriptions of new genera and species, and an enumeration of the specimens in the collection of the Indian Museum, Calcutta. Museum Calcutta (1), pp. 48.