Peters includes Mantodea as part of order Dictyoptera - others include as a group in Orthoptera.
Praying mantid or mantids
2 pair: Mesothorax wings toughened (=tegmina) to protect membraneous, folded (fan-like) metathoracic wings.
front legs modified for grasping
elongate, thin body & legs for camouflage egg - distinctive egg case
Camouflaged in vegetation - highly predacious so found alone.
General predators but don't consume large numbers of prey. Familiar insects a symbol of biological control.
1200 species worldwide (only 20 in N. America)
Peters pg. 407 (included with roaches in order Dictyoptera)
Links to other Mantodea Sites