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Comprehensive Description

The Mantophasmatodea was described as an entirely new Order of insects (a rank equivalent to, for example, beetles or termites or mayflies) in 2002 (Klass et al. 2002). However, the question of what rank is used for a particular taxon is somewhat subjective and some investigators have concluded that this group is more appropriately recognized with a different rank, such as a family (Mantophasmatidae) within another Order rather than as a distinct Order. One problem with this approach, however, is that phylogenetic studies have so far indicated, variously, that this group is most closely allied with the Phasmatodea, the Mantodea, and the Grylloblattodea, making it still uncertain which Order would include the Mantophasmatidae (Cameron et al. 2006 and references therein; Damgaard et al. 2008 and references therein). Although mantophasmatids have only been discovered recently, explorations in the field in Africa (and in old museum collections) have led to the recognition of nearly two dozen species (Damgaard et al. 2008).

Eberhard and Picker (2008) studied vibrational communication in two sympatric species of mantophasmatids.

Author(s): Shapiro, Leo
Rights holder(s): Shapiro, Leo

Taxonomic Children

Total: 3

Mantophasma, Sclerophasma, Tyrannophasma


Cameron, S. L., Barker S. C., & Whiting M. F. (2006).  Mitochondrial genomics and the new insect order Mantophasmatodea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 38, 274-279.
Damgaard, J., Klass K. - D., Picker M. D., & Buder G. (2008).  Phylogeny of the Heelwalkers (Insecta: Mantophasmatodea) based on mtDNA sequences, with evidence for additional taxa in South Africa. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 47, 443-462.
Eberhard, M. J. B., & Picker M. D. (2008).  Vibrational Communication in Two Sympatric Species of Mantophasmatodea (Heelwalkers). Journal of Insect Behavior. 21, 240-257.
Klass, K. D., Zompro O., Kristensen N. P., & Adis J. (2002).  Mantophasmatodea: a new insect order with extant members in the Afrotropics. Science. 296, 1456-1459.