Opportunistic depredation of songbird nestlings by female praying mantids (Mantodea: Mantidae)

Mahmood Kolnegari, Antonio Fasano, Khalil Zareie, Connor T. Panter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Praying mantids (class Insecta, order Mantodea) are a group of predatory insects comprising approximately 2500 described species, that occur across all continents except Antarctica, with the greatest species diversity in tropical and subtropical regions. Mantids predominantly prey on other invertebrates but are known to feed on small vertebrates. During April and May 2021, we observed mantid feeding events in Manujan County, Kerman Province in southern Iran. Two distinct feeding events were observed where female European Mantids (Mantis religiosa) preyed on Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) and Crested Lark (Galerida cristata) nestlings. In addition, we collated information from online searches of mantids feeding on nestlings elsewhere in the world, revealing two more observations. In Taiwan, a Giant Asian Mantid (Hierodula patellifera) was recorded preying on a nestling Warbling White‐eye …
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere9643
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2022


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