- 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.