Notes on the lifecycle and distribution of Sphodromantis gastrica (Stål, 1858) (Mantodea: Mantidae) in South Africa




African Mantis, Museum records, Ootheca, biology, citizen science


Sphodromantis gastrica (Stål) (Mantodea: Mantidae), also known as the African mantis, is suggested to be common and widespread in southern Africa. Limited information is available regarding the distribution of this species in South Africa and no information is available on its biology. The aim of this study was to determine the distribution of S. gastrica in South Africa based on historic insect collection records as well as to study its basic biology and developmental parameters under captive breeding conditions. A total of 153 South African museum records of Sphodromantis spp. were recorded during this study.  These records indicated that S. gastrica occurred in all but two provinces of South Africa. The incubation time of the S. gastrica oothecae were approximately 10 weeks and each ootheca contained an average of 84 egg chambers. The mean fertility rate was 54.6% while the survival rate until adulthood was 41.8%. The numbers of nymphal instars until adulthood ranged between four and nine. The mean lifespan of S. gastrica individuals were approximately 332 days and females lived longer than males.


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How to Cite

Greyvenstein B, Du Plessis H, Van den Berg J. Notes on the lifecycle and distribution of Sphodromantis gastrica (Stål, 1858) (Mantodea: Mantidae) in South Africa. Afr. Entomol. [Internet]. 2022 Nov. 1 [cited 2023 Oct. 4];30. Available from:




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