Thursday, 3 July 2008

Praying Mantises

  • Order: Mantodea
  • Family: Mantidae
  • Subfamily: Orthoderinae

Praying Mantises (or Mantids) are predatory insects which hunt by ambush. They sit motionless with the forelegs held out in a prayer like manner, hence their common name. Their raptor like forelegs are armed with series of hooks with which they can immobilise their prey.

While the Mantis diet in Tasmania includes mainly insects, elsewhere, larger mantises have even been known to take things like small birds and lizards. Although they generally hunt by day, they are also attracted by lights at night and I have often had them in my light trap eying off the moths..

The catalogue of the Insects of Tasmania lists 3 species from the family Mantidae.

  • Mantinae: Pseudomantis albofimbriata
  • Mantinae: Tenodera australasiae
  • Orthoderinae: Orthodera ministralis

To date, Pseudomantis albofimbriata has eluded me. However, the other two I have shown below.


Orthodera ministralis (Garden Mantid)

Orthodera ministralis (Garden Mantid)


Tenodera australasiae (Purple-winged Matid)


Tenodera australasiae (Purple-winged Matid)


Tenodera australasiae (Purple-winged Matid)


2 comments:

  1. I had one come in regularly to my moth light Mosura, even used to get in my hair to check out the little moths there. Nothing like living close to nature!

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  2. LOL - I can just picture it. When I check the trap in the summer months I often come back to the house with moths, flies and other beasties in my hair, under my shirt and up my trouser legs etc.

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