Praying mantises (Mantodea)

The Mantodea -collection of the SMNK currently comprises ca. 12.200 specimens in 1.486 species/subspecies. In additions to the adult insects, the museum also has some exuvia and oothecae (egg cocoons).

The foundation of the Mantodea -collection of the SMNK was formed in 1970 by the purchase of the Orthoptera -collection (in the wide sense) of H. Knipper. It contained 185 specimens of Mantodea from various countries.

The bulk of the present collection comes from R. Ehrmann, entomology collection manager at the SMNK from 1996-2008, who visited a number of countries (Dominican Republic, France, Italy, Yemen, Jordan, Kenya, Portugal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Venezuela) to collect and breed Mantodea. In 1998 and 1999 the SMNK purchased this collection of 5.865 specimens in 150 drawers. Since then the Mantodea collection could be steadily enlarged by donations and purchases of additional material. At this writing (February 2012), it comprises 1.486 species/subspecies in 294 genera/subgenera, thus encompassing a major portion of the world fauna of praying mantises (ca. 453 genera/subgenera and 2.452 species/subspecies).

The Mantodea collection of the SMNK is one of the largest worldwide. It is databased on specimen -level. This database will soon be made available through GBIF.

Curator in charge

Dr. Alexander Riedel, Dipl.-Biol.

Dr. Alexander Riedel, Dipl.-Biol.
Phone: +49 721 175-2836
E-Mail: riedel@smnk.de

Mating praying mantis
Mating praying mantids
Empusa in defense position
Empusa in Abwehrhaltung
Praying mantis with egg cocoon
Praying mantid with egg cocoon (Ootheca)