Empusidae

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Empusidae
EMPUSE-Empusa pennata-PICT0231 1.jpg
Empusa pennata
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Family:
Empusidae
Genera

Empusidae is a family of plant-mimicking Mantids [1] (see Mantodea), consisting of 10 genera, holding almost 30 species [6]. Unlike many other mantid families, Empusidae is a monophyletic lineage [1][2][3]. Empusidae mantids are ambush predators [3], with mouthparts adapted to feeding on other insects and small animals [2]. The majority of Empusidae species are distributed throughout Africa, but they are also found in south-east Asia and in the southern parts of Europe [4].

Natural History[edit]

The empusidae species Gongylus gongylodes (Linné, 1758)[1] was the first mantid species ever to be described. Since, Gongylus mantids have been fascinating entomologists and have been bred in captivity for long, thus, behavior and breeding preferences are well known such as a defensive behavior of displaying a hissing noise by rubbing the anterior edges of its serrated forewings to the femur of the hindlegs [1].

Morphology[edit]

The about 28[6] species of Empusidae mantids are all relatively large and bizarre looking. The prothorax is always surrounded by a crest and the femur of the middle- and hindlegs often have flap-like appendages. The pronotum is characteristically elongated and the abdomen is often lobed [4]. Members of the Mantoidea superfamily possess a cyclopean ear, an organ situated on the metathorax which has been proven to be an adaptation to bat predation. The presence of this adaptation has been dated to originate in the early eocene [5].

Phylogeny[edit]

Empusidae belong to the superfamily Mantoidea, (“higher” mantises), together with Mantidae and Hymenopodidae [5]. Phylogenetic studies place Empusidae as a sister group to Hymenopodidae. Empusidae and Hymenopodidae are in turn placed as sister groups to all other ambush mantids [3]. There are two subfamilies within Empusidae, Blepharodinae and Empusinae. The Blepharodinae subfamily holds three genera, Blepharodes, Blepharopsis and Idolomantis. The Empusinae subfamily is divided into two tribes, Empusini and Idolomorphini. The Empusini tribe holds five genera, Dilatempusa, Empusa, Gonglyus and Hypsicorypha (see List of mantis genera and species). The Idolomorphini tribe holds the three remaining genera,Hemiempusa, Idolomorpha (see List of mantis genera and species) and Chopardempusa [6]. The latest phylogeny was revised by Svenson et al. 2015 [1].

Images[edit]

G.gongylodes dorsal.jpg
I.diabolica dorsal.jpg
I.lateralis dorsal.jpg

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Svenson, Gavin J., et al. "Of flowers and twigs: phylogenetic revision of the plant‐mimicking praying mantises (Mantodea: Empusidae and Hymenopodidae) with a new suprageneric classification." Systematic Entomology 40.4 (2015)[1]

Khokhar, Jawaid A., and N. M. Soomro. "A Comparative Study of Structural Adaptations of Mouthparts in Mantodea From Sindh." Pakistan J. Zool 41.1 (2009): 21-27.[2]

Svenson, Gavin J., and Michael F. Whiting. "Phylogeny of Mantodea based on molecular data: evolution of a charismatic predator." Systematic Entomology 29.3 (2004): 359-370.[3]

Ehrmann, Reinhard. Mantodea Gottesanbeterinnen der Welt. Natur und Tier, 2002.[4]

Grimaldi, David and Michael S. Engel. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press, 2005.[5]

Mantodea Species File, 2017. http://mantodea.speciesfile.org/Common/basic/Taxa.aspx?TaxonNameID=1182268 Retrieved 11 January 2017.[6]

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Svenson, Gavin J., et al. "Of flowers and twigs: phylogenetic revision of the plant‐mimicking praying mantises (Mantodea: Empusidae and Hymenopodidae) with a new suprageneric classification." Systematic Entomology 40.4 (2015)
  2. ^ [Khokhar, Jawaid A., and N. M. Soomro. "A Comparative Study of Structural Adaptations of Mouthparts in Mantodea From Sindh." Pakistan J. Zool 41.1 (2009): 21-27.
  3. ^ Svenson, Gavin J., and Michael F. Whiting. "Phylogeny of Mantodea based on molecular data: evolution of a charismatic predator." Systematic Entomology 29.3 (2004): 359-370.
  4. ^ Ehrmann, Reinhard. Mantodea Gottesanbeterinnen der Welt. Natur und Tier, 2002.
  5. ^ Grimaldi, David and Michael S. Engel. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  6. ^ Mantodea Species File, 2017. http://mantodea.speciesfile.org/Common/basic/Taxa.aspx?TaxonNameID=1182268 Retrieved 11 January 2017.