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Species Stagmomantis carolina - Carolina Mantis

ootheca - Stagmomantis carolina Mantis with grasshopper - Stagmomantis carolina - female Egg case? - Stagmomantis carolina Ootheca - Stagmomantis carolina Mantis - Stagmomantis carolina Stagmomantis carolina - female Carolina Mantis - Dorsal - Stagmomantis carolina - female Carolina Mantis - Stagmomantis carolina - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Mantodea (Mantids)
Family Mantidae
Genus Stagmomantis
Species carolina (Carolina Mantis)
Other Common Names
Carolina Mantid
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Stagmomantis carolina (Johanson)
Orig. Comb: Gryllus carolina Johanson 1763
(alt. spelling Johannson, see Remarks)
Explanation of Names
Original specimen from the Carolinas.
Adults are 48-57 mm long (including wings).
Head and thorax almost as long as the abdomen. 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 in females which makes them flightless, or nearly so. On males, the wings may or may not extend beyond the tip of the abdomen. 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)
1. 2. 3.          4. 5.
e. US to Rockies / Mexico to Central America.
Recently found in New York and Connecticut 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.
Life Cycle
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.
Recent work has proposed splitting out Stagmomantis conspurcata (Serville, 1839), representing southern populations (including Texas, Florida, Oklahoma) of carolina. See Anderson (2020). Revalidation of Stagmomantis (Stagmomantis) conspurcata (Serville, 1839).
Print References
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)
Internet References
Florida Preying Mantids - P.M. Choate, University of Florida Entomology Dept.
University of Michigan Museum of Zoology comprehensive species account
D.D. Centuria insectorum rariorum, p.13   The original description of the species (in Latin).
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
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.
4.National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders & Related Species of North America
Arthur V. Evans. 2007. Sterling.
5.How to Know the Grasshoppers, Cockroaches, and Their Allies
Jacques R. Helfer. 1962. Wm. C. Brown Company.
6.Field Book of Insects of the United States and Canada, Aiming to Answer Common Questions,
Frank Eugene Lutz. 1935. Putnam Pub Group.
7.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.
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.