Agricultural entomology: The order of the Mantoidei

Agricultural entomology: The order of the Mantoidei

Bibliographic reference:
Phytopathology, agricultural entomology and applied biology” – M.Ferrari, E.Marcon, A.Menta; School edagricole - RCS Libri spa

The Mantodei (or Mantoidei) have a triangular head with large compound eyes; the thorax, very long and thin, bears a pair of powerful kidnapping legs, equipped with robust thorns, which in a state of rest are typically folded under the head. For this attitude and for the almost erect body, these insects are called religious mantises. Generally the wings are well developed and the front ones transformed into tegmine; in some species the wings are reduced or absent. The females lay eggs in ootheca, glued on stones, herbs, stems and branches; from the eggs larvae develop which, soon, turn into small nymphs.
The Mantodei, equipped with a robust chewing apparatus, are voracious predators of insects, even of large dimensions (flies, butterflies, grasshoppers, etc.) which they catch with their powerful kidnapping legs. The male, which has smaller dimensions than the female, can be devoured by the female, after mating.
The insects belonging to this order are to be considered useful for their predatory behavior, however, for the great polyphagia that characterizes them, they are of little significance in biological control.
In Italy there are about 10 species, including the note Mantis religiosa L. (Mantis religiosa) which can reach, and sometimes exceed, 70 mm in length.

Praying mantis - Mantis religiosa L. (photo Piero Rossi

Video: 5 mantidi per allevatori esperti (January 2022).