The insect family Mantophasmatidae is the sole family in its order. It is a group of African carnivorous insects discovered in 2002. The most common vernacular name for this order is gladiators, but it is not well known under any name.
Temporal range: Jurassic–Recent
Members of the order are wingless even as adults, making them relatively difficult to identify. They resemble a mix between praying mantids and phasmids. Molecular evidence indicates that they are most closely related to a family known as the Grylloblattidae.
The mantophasmids were originally described from old museum specimens that found in Namibia (Mantophasma zephyra) and Tanzania (M. subsolana), and from a 45-million-year-old specimen of Baltic amber (Raptophasma kerneggeri).
The most recent classification recognizes numerous genera, including fossils.
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