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  • Mantodea is an order of insects that contains over 2,400 species and about 430 genera in 15 families worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. Most of the species are in the family Mantidae. The English common name for the order is the mantises, or rarely, the mantes. The name mantid refers only to members of the family Mantidae, which was, historically, the only family in the Order, but with 14 additional families recognized in recent decades, this term can be confusing. The other common name, often applied to any species in the order, is "praying mantis", because of the typical "prayer-like" posture with folded fore-limbs, although the eggcorn "preying mantis" is sometimes used in reference to their predatory habits. In Europe and other regions, however, the name "praying mantis" refers to only a single species, Mantis religiosa. The closest relatives of mantises are the termites and cockroaches. They are sometimes confused with phasmids and other elongated insects such as grasshoppers and crickets, or other insects with raptorial forelegs such as mantisflies.

Freebase Commons Biology /biology

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