Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Gladiators (Mantophasmatodea)

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_1104

In 2002, German researchers announced the discovery of a new insect order, Mantophasmatodea. The order name is based on the names of their close relatives, the Mantodea (praying mantids) and the Phasmatodea (walking sticks). This was a significant find because a new order had not been discovered since 1915. Indeed, it remains to be seen whether the entomological community accepts the report that this is a new order. It has been a controversial topic since the initial discovery. Some have argued that Mantophasmatodea is a sister group of Grylloblattodea, and that they should be treated as suborders in the order Notoptera. Further, two of the three families were relegated to subfamily status in this system, and the insects were named “rock crawlers,” whereas the members of the sister taxon, were called “ice crawlers.”


Mantophasmatodea was first found in the Brandenberg Mountains of Namibia in southwestern Africa (since then they have been found widely in the western...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Arillo A, Engel MS (2006) Rock crawlers in Baltic amber (Notoptera: Mantophasmatodea). Am Mus Novit 3539:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Klass KD, Zomporo O, Kristensen NP, Adis J (2002) Mantophasmatodea: a new insect order with extant members in the Afrotropics. Science 296:1456–1459PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Klass KD, Picker MD, Damgaard J, van Noort S, Tojo K (2003) The taxonomy, genitalic morphology, and phylogenetic relationships of southern African Mantophasmatodea (Insecta). Entomologische Abhandlungen 61:3–67Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008