Family Mantidae

Key to subfamilies
1. Pronotum scalloped anteriorly, partly or completely overlapping the rear of the head. Uniformly green coloured insects.


Pronotum rounded anteriorly, never overlapping the rear of the head.


2. Pronotal margins almost parallel, not laterally expanded.

subfam. Orthoderinae


Pronotum markedly dilated into a rhomboidal or pentagonal shape.

subfam. Choeradodinae

3. Anterior femora with deep pit between first and second external spines, into which tibial claw fits.


Anterior femora without such a pit between first and second external spines.


4. Eyes markedly bulging, with their dorsal edges reaching at least as far and often beyond the crown of the vertex.
Uniformly brown coloured, living on bark.

subfam. Liturgusinae

Eyes nearly flat, their dorsal edges never reaching as far as the crown of the vertex. Uniformly green coloured.

subfam. Caliridinae

5. Pronotum depressed, the sides nearly parallel, or gradually widening from posterior to anterior, the anterior edge therefore at least as broad as the posterior edge; no, or only a weak, supra-coxal bulge.
Anterior tibia more or less compressed.

subfam. Tarachodinae

Pronotum more or less arched, the anterior edge not broader than the posterior edge, the supra-coxal bulge more or less marked, occasionally spread out in lobes, the sides therefore not parallel.
Anterior tibia not compressed.


6. Posterior tibia with dorsal keels.

subfam. Vatinae

Posterior tibia smooth, rounded.


7. Anterior femora with 5-7 external spines. Supra-anal plate never markedly prolonged.


Anterior femora with 4 external spines, exceptionally with 5, and then either the
supra-anal plate markedly prolonged, lanceolate or the hind wings vividly coloured and the legs without lobes.




8. Ventral surface of anterior femora between external and internal rows of spines flat. Pronotum not compressed, rounded dorsally. Legs never lobed. Mostly green insects.

subfam. Photininae

Ventral surface of anterior femora between external and internal rows of spines keeled. Pronotum compressed, keeled. Legs often lobed. Brown insects.

subfam. Toxoderinae

9. Anterior tibia with 1 or 2 dorsal spines distally.


Anterior tibia without spines on dorsal surface.


10. Pronotum without, or with only a delicate longitudinal keel. Female with fully developed wings. New world species.

subfam. Oligonychinae

Pronotum with a markedly raised, toothed longitudinal keel. Female brachypterous. Oriental species.

subfam. Haaniinae

11. Medial apical lobe of anterior coxa more or less expanded, lamelliform; larger than lateral lobe. Delicate and often very slender insects.

subfam. Thespinae

Medial apical lobe of anterior coxa not expanded.


12. Anterior femora with 1 to 3 discoidal spines.
Antennae mostly ciliated or thickened.


Anterior femora with 4 discoidal spines, exceptionally with 3 and then anterior tibia robustly armed and antennae neither ciliated nor thickened.


13. Anterior tibia without spines, apart from tibial claw.

subfam. Compsothespinae

Anterior tibia with spines in addition to tibial claw.


14. Small insects with thin antennae and round or bluntly conical eyes.

subfam. Iridopteryginae

Large rod-shaped insects, with strongly thickened antennae and sharply pointed conical eyes, directed anteriorly and superiorly.

subfam. Schizocephalinae

15. Brown, leaf-like insects. Pronotum with various foliaceous lateral expansions. Legs always lobed. Head without projections.

subfam. Deroplatinae

Green or brown, but never leaf-like insects. Pronotum simple or with regular but never foliaceous lateral expansions. Legs simple or lobed. Head mostly with projection.


16. Middle and hind femora with large lobes, extending almost the length of the limb. Head with projection on vertex.

subfam. Phyllotheliinae

Middle and hind femora simple, or at most with a small preapical lobe.


17. Eyes sharply conical with terminal spike, directed laterally.

subfam. Oxyothespinae

Eyes rounded or at most bluntly conical, directed superiorly.


18. Antennae and costal margin of elytra of male ciliated.
Small or at most medium sized insects.

subfam. Amelinae

Antennae and costal margin of elytra of male not ciliated. Mostly large insects.


19. Anterior tibia shortened with few spines, the claw groove in the distal half of the femur. Rod-shaped insects.

subfam. Angelinae

Anterior tibia not shortened, the claw groove in the proximal half of the femur.


20. Head with projection on forehead or vertex. Legs always with lobes.

subfam. Sibyllinae

Head without projection, or at most with a hump near the eye. Legs only rarely with small preapical lobes.

subfam. Mantinae

Back to key to Mantidae

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Subfamily Orthoderinae

Key to genera
1. Frontal sclerite broader than high. Eyes slightly cone-shaped, but blunt

genus Orthodera

synonym Bolidena Blanchard

Frontal sclerite higher than broad. Eyes clearly cone-shaped and somewhat tapered.

genus Orthoderina

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Subfamily Choeradodinae

single genus Choeradodis

synonym Craurusa Burmeister

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Subfamily Liturgusinae

Key to genera
1. Pronotum in form of heraldic shield, edges more or less dilated anteriorly.


Pronotum with edges parallel or convergent anteriorly.


2. Costal area of elytra as wide as half the discoidal area.

genus Theopompa

synonym Theopompella G-Tos

Costal area of elytra much narrower than half the discoidal area.


3. Edges of pronotum with spines.

genus Zouza

synonyms Jalla G-Tos, Tosa Navas

Edges of pronotum without spines.


4. Pronotum almost as wide as long. Female elytra very short.

genus Elaea

  • Elaea transferred to Amelinae in Ragge and Roy 1967
Pronotum much longer than wide. Female elytra at least as long as abdomen.

genus Humbertiella

synonym Theopompula G-Tos

5. 3 discoidal spines.


4 discoidal spines.


6. 4 posterior femora spined inferiorly.

genus Ciulfina

Transferred by Key 1970 to Iridopteryginae

4 posterior femora simple.

genus Stenomantis

7. Pronotal disc with markedly raised tubercles.


Pronotal disc without markedly raised tubercles.


8. Posterior femora with lobule or tooth inferiorly near tip.


Posterior femora simple.


9. Vertex without projection above ocelli.

genus Majanga

synonym Pantelica Saussure & Zehntner

Vertex with projection above ocelli.

genus Majangella

10. Internal apical lobes of anterior coxa divergent.

genus Melliera

synonym Phaeomantis Beier 1931

Internal apical lobes of coxa contiguous.

genus Mellierella

synonym Papuspilota Werner

11. Discoidal vein of wings bifurcate.


Discoidal vein of wings simple.


12. Supra-anal plate large, not transverse.

genus Gonatista

Supra-anal plate small, transverse.


13. Top of vertex with tubercles next to eyes.

genus Dactylopteryx

synonym Phloeomantis G-Tos

Top of vertex without tubercles.

genus Gonatistella

14. Supra-anal plate small, transverse.

genus Liturgusella

Supra-anal plate large, covering tip of abdomen.


15. Anterior tibia with 7-8 external spines, the sixth from the apex much longer.

genus Liturgusa

synonym Liturgousa (err. transcript.) Saussure

Anterior tibia with 8 external spines, the sixth not longer.

genus Hagiomantis

+ Xystropeltis Rehn 1935

Back to key to Litugusinae

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Subfamily Caliridinae

Key to genera
1. Internal apical lobes of anterior coxa adjacent.

genus Deromantis

Internal apical lobes of anterior coxa divergent.


2. Wings clear.

genus Leptomantis

synonym Aetaella Hebard

Wings coloured.


3. Metazone of pronotum not conspicuously narrow.

genus Caliris

Metazone of pronotum conspicuously narrow.

genus Gildella

synonym Gilda G-Tos (non Gilda Walker)

  • Also included by Beier: Hebardia Werner, Hebardiella Werner
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Subfamily Tarachodinae

Key to genera
1. Claw groove very near base of anterior femur.


Claw groove more or less distant from base of anterior femur.


2. Anterior coxa jutting out beyond posterior border of pronotum.


Anterior coxa not jutting out beyond posterior border of pronotum.


3. Eyes conical.

genus Charieis

Eyes rounded.


4. Anterior tibia with 8-9 external spines.


Anterior tibia with more than 9 external spines.


5. Supra-anal plate large, almost as long as broad, the tip rounded.

genus Antistia

Supra-anal plate short, transverse.

genus Ariusa

6. Anterior metatarsi and cerci cylindrical.

genus Tarachodella

Anterior metatarsi and cerci compressed.


7. 4 posterior femora rounded.

genus Tarachodula

4 posterior femora compressed.

genus Tarachodes

8. Top of vertex excavated, the eyes jutting out beyond the vertex.

genus Oxyopthalmellus

Top of vertex convex or flat, the eyes not jutting out beyond the vertex.


9. Elytra of male as long, or nearly as long, as the abdomen.
Pronotum of female without tubercles.

genus Galepsus

synonym Paragalepsus Beier

Elytra of male short, not exceeding the middle of the abdomen.
Pronotum of female with two blunt tubercles behind the supra-coxal groove.

genus Paralygdamia

10. Centre of apex of vertex prolonged in a triangular protuberance.
(Not two adjoining juxta-ocular lobes with similar appearance, c.f. Didymocorypha)

genus Pyrgomantis

Centre of apex of vertex not prolonged.


11. Lateral lobes of apex of vertex protruding more or less beyond the superior border of the eyes.


Lateral lobes of apex of vertex not protruding beyond superior border of the eyes.


12. Lateral lobes of vertex only protruding a little beyond the eyes.

genus Oxyophthalma

Lateral lobes of vertex protruding considerably beyond the eyes and forming a triangular process similar to Pyrgomantis but split at the tip.

genus Didymocorypha

13. Anterior femora dilated, the superior border straight or a little bowed.


Anterior femora thin, the superior border a little concave.


14. Eyes without spines.

genus Paroxyophthalmus

Eyes terminating in a long spine.

genus Episcopus

? equivalent to Beier's Episcopomantis

15. Eyes rounded.

genus Dysaules

Eyes pointed.

genus Parepiscopus

  • Beier also includes Oxyelaea G-Tos, Pseudogalepsus Beier, Plastogalepsus Beier, Nesogalepsus Beier
Back to key to Tarachodinae

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Subfamily Vatinae

Key to tribes
1. Anterior coxa with distal lamelliform expansion.

tribe Danuriini

Anterior coxa without distal expansion.


2. Cerci compressed, foliaceous.

tribe Heterochaetini

Cerci cylindrical.


3. Head without projections.

tribe Stagmatopterini

Head with prolonged ocellar tubercles.

tribe Vatini

Tribe Danuriini

Key to genera
1. Anterior femora with triangular lobe on superior border before the end.

genus Popa

Probably also includes Macropopa G-Tos.
Anterior femora without lobe on superior border before the end.


2. Middle tibiae without inferior lobe.

genus Danuria

Middle tibiae with superior and inferior lobes.

genus Macrodanuria

Beier includes Danuriella Westw., although description in G-Tos says no coxal expansion

Back to key to Vatinae

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Tribe Heterochaetini

Key to genera
1. Eyes extended into a spine

genus Heterochaeta

Eyes not extended into a spine

genus Stenovates

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Tribe Stagmatopterini

Key to genera
1. Eyes laterally more or less conical.


Eyes rounded.


2. Lateral borders of pronotum armed in the metazone with very long spines.

genus Catoxyopsis

Lateral borders of pronotum smooth or only slightly toothed.


3. Posterior femora lobed.

genus Paroxyopsis

Posterior femora not lobed.


4. Eyes sharp. Anterior coxa do not reach the base of the prosternum.

genus Oxyopsis

Eyes blunt. Anterior coxa reach base of prosternum.

genus Pseudoxyopsis

5. Pronotum with tubercles on the supracoxal bulge.

genus Heterovates

Pronotum without tubercles on supracoxal bulge.


6. Four posterior femora lobed.

genus Lobocneme

Four posterior femora not lobed.


7. Frontal sclerite a little broader than tall.

genus Stagmatoptera

Frontal sclerite narrowed transversely.


8. Pronotum about twice as long as anterior coxa.

genus Leptochoche

Pronotum not twice as long as anterior coxa.

genus Parastagmatoptera

Tribe Vatini

Key to genera
1. Anterior femora with superior preapical lobe.

genus Zoolea

Anterior femora without superior preapical lobe.


2. Four posterior legs lobed.

genus Vates

Four posterior legs without lobes.


3. Fourth abdominal segment dilated laterally in a lobe. Pronotum short.

genus Hagiotata

Fourth abdominal segment not lobed. Pronotum long.

genus Phyllovates

synonym Theoclytes Saussure



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