Books about Praying Mantids

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Below are some books about mantids.  They are split into two sections.  The first section contains books which deal predominantly with mantids.  The second section deals with books that have a wider scope but do have a significant  mantis content.  Only books published proior to about 2008 are included here.

Books mainly about Mantids

An introduction to rearing praying mantids by Phil E. Bragg (1997)

A beginners' guide to rearing mantids. A5 format, 16 pages, 10 figures. Published by P.E. Bragg. ISBN 0-9531195-0-5. Out of print.

The book describes methods of rearing and breeding praying mantids.  Headings include: An introduction to praying mantids, Types of mantids, Structure of mantids, Mantids in captity, Cages, Feeding, Breeding, Sexing, Mating, Egg laying, Identification, Preserving mantids, Obtaining mantids, Distributing mantids, and Sources of further information.  The book is illustrated with 10 black and white drawings, plus one on the front cover.  The drawings illustrate six different species of mantids, how to distinguish the sexes, details of the fore leg, and an internal view of an egg case.

Mantodea Gottesanbeterinnen de Welt by Reinhard Ehrmann (2002)

Published by Natur und Tier – Verlag, Münster. 519 pages, 194 colour photographs and 56 drawings. A complete catalogue of mantids of the world.

Rearing and studying praying mantids by George Heath (1980)

This was the first beginners’ book to be published on rearing mantids. Published by AES Publications. Out of print.

Rearing and studying praying mantids by G.L. Heath & G. Cowgill (1990)

This is a revised edition of Heath's 1980 booklet of the same title. It has 22 pages with 9 black and white photographs.  Published by AES Publications.

The Praying Mantids by Prete, F.R., Wells, H., Wells, P.H. & Hurd, L.E. (Editors) (1999)


362 pages, 33 colour photos, 113 figs. Published by Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801861748.

Praying Mantids: Keeping Aliens by A. Lasebny & O. McMonigle (Year of publication not known).

Information on keeping and breeding praying mantids as pets. Sections on live foods, oothecae, mating, the mantis garden, US mantids, and exotic mantids.  40 pages. Published by Elytra and Antenna. ISBN 0971912920.


Praying mantids and stick insects by A. S. Schoeman (c. 1990 exact year not known).

A general introduction. One of the publisher's "Insight” Series. 40 pages with colour photographs and line drawings. Published by De Jager-Haum, ISBN 0-7985-1368-8. Out of print.

Lauernde Gefahr - Das Leben der Gottesanbeterinnen by Jürgen Hevers & Eckehard Liske (1991) 

Published by Staatliches Naturhistorisches Museum, Braunschweig.  ISBN 3-925538-04-6.  67pages with numerous black and white photographs and line drawings.  In German.

Orthoptera, Mantidae by E. Giglio-Tos (1927)

Published as volume 50 of Tierreich. With 707 pages, in French, this is the standard work for identification of mantids. It gives keys to all known species. Out of print.

Mantodea (Fangheuschreken) by M. Beier (1968)

This is volume 4 part 2 section 12 of Handbuch der Zoologie. 47 pages, in German, this gives keys to subfamilies. It is particularly useful for the long list of references. Out of print but widely held by university libraries.

 How to care for your praying mantis by Russell Willis (2003)

Aimed at beginners.  34 pages, 20 colour photos and 3 drawings; A5 format.  Published by Kingdom Books, England, ISBN 185279141-1.

Books dealing with mantids & other insects

Grasshoppers and mantids of the world by Ken Preston-Mafham (1990)

Aimed at the general reader, this book deals with all aspects of Orthoptera, mantids, cockroaches and phasmids, and includes many colour photographs. Published by Blanford, ISBN 0-71372148-0. Price about £20.

How to know the grasshoppers, cockroaches and their allies by J.R. Helfer (1963)

Published by W.C. Brown Co., Iowa, USA. This 353 page book has ten pages on common USA mantids and includes a key and illustrations of 18 species. Out of print but occasionally available second-hand.

Grasshopper country by D.C.F. Rentz (1996)

Published by University of New South Wales Press. This 284 page book about Australian orthopteroid insects has ten pages of general text about mantids, and 26 of the 425 small colour photographs are of mantids. ISBN 0-86840-063-7. Price about £50.

Mon, 2008-05-05 13:42 -- pbragg
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith