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Language: English with bilingual summary in English and Maori
Orthodera novaezealandiae (Colenso) (Orthoderinae) and Miomantis caffra Saussure (Mantinae) are the only two species of mantid established in New Zealand. O. novaezealandiae is taxonomically very close to some populations of O. ministralis (Fabricius) in Australia, with which it has generally been regarded as synonymous; it is here reaffirmed as a distinct species. M. caffra, a southem African species, was discovered in New Zealand in 1978 and is now established around Auckland and spreading. The taxonomy and status of these species are outlined, and characters distinguishing between them in all life stages are tabulated and illustrated. Morphology and life history are described in detail, with particular attention to variation in wing venation and genital characters. The history of mantid classification is discussed, and several aspects of mantid morphology and biology are critically reviewed, from a worldwide perspective, in the light of a detailed examination of the New Zealand species. These are: (a) femoral brush; (b) wing morphology; (c) pterostigma; (d) coloration; (e) stridulation; (f) acoustic sensitivity; (g) defence behaviour; (h) regeneration; (i) predation (on mantids); (j) parasitism; (k) pathology; (1) diet. SEMs show details of the femoral brush, pterostigma, and cyclopean ear (acoustic receptor).