Species Stagmomantis carolina - Carolina Mantis
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Mantodea (Mantids)
Species carolina (Carolina Mantis)
Other Common Names
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
, 1763, alt. spelling Johannson, see Remarks)
Explanation of Names
Original description presumably based on a specimen from the Carolinas.
Adults are 48-57 mm long (including wings).
Head and thorax almost as long as the body. Antennae about half as long as middle legs. Pale green to brownish grey, often inconspicuous on vegetation. Males usually brown, females green or brown. Wings do not extend to tip of abdomen, especially in female. (Females apparently flightless, or nearly so.) Abdomen of female strongly widened in middle. Tegmina
(outer wings) are broad, reaching apical third of the abdomen, with a stigmatic (dark) black patch.
The facial shield (plate below antennal insertion and between the eyes) is relatively long and narrow in Stagmomantis (1, 2 and 3), more squarish in Tenodera sinensis (4,and5)
New Jersey south to Florida; west to Utah, Arizona, Texas, and through Mexico to Central America.
Recently found in New York as well, perhaps extending its range.
Meadows and gardens, on herbs, low shrubs, and flower heads.
Mantids are most commonly seen in late summer and early fall. August-frost (eastern North Carolina).
Butterflies, moths, flies, small wasps and bees, true bugs and caterpillars. Often considered beneficial, mantids will eat almost anything they can catch and therefore do not differentiate whether their meal is beneficial to man or not.
One generation per year in most (or all?) of range. Eggs overwinter and hatch in early spring. Adults are mature by late summer and usually die by winter, however there have been cases of them living longer in Florida (Price 1984, Prete et al 1999). Has slower development and occurs at lower densities than some other mantid species (Harris and Moran, 2000).
1. Egg case. 2. Emerging nymphs. 3. Nymph. 4. Adult female. 5. Adult male
The Carolina Mantid is the State insect of South Carolina
The author of this species is obscure. Quoting from the Hunt Institute
(see also Biodiversity Heritage Library--Johansson, Boas
), the reference is a Ph.D. dissertation:
Centuria insectorum rariorum. Defended 23 June 1763 by Boas Johansson (1742-1809). Lidén no. 129. TOPIC: Descriptions of 100 rare insect species that were sent to Linnaeus from Carolina and Pennsylvania as well as from Surinam and Java.
There seems to be some disagreement as to whether Boas Johansson or Carolus Linnaeus is the actual author: other species (Tremex columba
, for example) described in the same work have Linnaeus attributed as the author. See Wikipedia article--Centuria Insectorum
Arnett, American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
, page 191 (1)
Brimley, Insects of North Carolina
, p. 18 (2)
Deyrup, Florida's Fabulous Insects
, pages 42-43 (3)
Evans, Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
, p. 83 (4)
Harris and Moran. Life History and Population Characteristics of the Mantid Stagmomantis carolina (Mantodea: Mantidae). Environmental Entomology 29(1):64-68. 2000 (doi: 10.1603/0046-225X-29.1.64
Helfer, How to Know the Grasshoppers and Allies
, p. 33, fig. 51--shows male and female (5)
Lutz, Field Book of Insects
, 3rd edition, p. 67, plate 80--female and egg mass (6)
Milne, National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
, pages 397-398, plate 302 (7)
Salsbury, Insects in Kansas
, p. 80--photos of green and brown phases (8)
Swan and Papp, The Common Insects of North America
, p. 69, fig.28--adult and egg case (9)
University of Florida Entomology Dept.
PDF key to Florida mantids by P.M. Choate
list of mantid species in the U.S., with breakdown of species by state
D.D. Centuria insectorum rariorum, p.13
The original description of the species (in Latin).
|2.||Insects of North Carolina|
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
|3.||Florida's Fabulous Insects|
Mark Deyrup, Brian Kenney, Thomas C. Emmel. 2000. World Publications.
|8.||Insects in Kansas|
Glenn A. Salsbury and Stephan C. White. 2000. Kansas Dept. of Agriculture.
|9.||The Common Insects of North America|
Lester A. Swan, Charles S. Papp. 1972. Harper & Row.