Phylogenetic relationships of Mantodea (praying mantids) are previously unknown and were inferred from DNA sequence data. Five genes (16S rDNA, 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, Cytochrome Oxidase II, and Histone 3) were sequenced for 63 taxa representing major mantid lineages and outgroups. The monophyly of mantid families and subfamilies were tested under varying parameter settings using parsimony and Bayesian analyses. These analyses support the paraphyly of Hymenopodidae, Iridopterygidae, Mantidae, and Thespidae and the monophyly of. Amorphoscelidae. All represented subfamilies of Iridopterygidae and Mantidae are paraphyletic. Mantoididae is the most basal mantid, sister to the rest of Mantodea. Lineages congruent with current subfamilial taxonomy include Paraoxypilinae, Hoplocoryphinae, Hymenopodinae, Acromantinae, and Oligonicinae. Mantid hunting strategy is defined as either generalist, cursorial, or ambush predators. The ancestral predatory condition was generalist hunting, with three independent shifts to cursorial hunting and one shift to ambush hunting, which gave rise to the largest radiation of mantid species.
Species 1: Mantodea (praying mantid)
Keywords: DNA, Dictyoptera
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