A newly established non-native praying mantis species, Liturgusa maya (Mantodea: Liturgusidae) in Florida, USA, and a key to Florida mantis genera

Authors

  • Andrew J Nisip Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA
  • Gavin Svenson Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA E
  • Brian Fridie, Jr. Goldens Bridge, New York 10526, USA;
  • Andrea Lucky Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA

Keywords:

exotic species, identification guide, introduced species, invasion biology

Abstract

Exotic insect species pose an increasing threat to Florida’s native ecosystems through direct negative effects as predators of native taxa, and indirect effects by competing for food and habitat resources. Although many exotic species established in Florida have no demonstrable negative impact on native insect communities, it is nonetheless important to document the presence of newly established species in order to evaluate their invasive potential. This study documents for the first time an established population of an introduced mantis, Liturgusa maya Saussure & Zehntner (Mantodea: Liturgusidae), in the USA. The paper includes a review of the species’ natural history in its native range in Central and South America. At present, this mantis is known only from a small, localized area; however, more widespread establishment in and beyond south Florida is possible because of the region’s subtropical climate. To facilitate monitoring of the introduced population of L. maya, an identification key to the genera of Florida mantises is included to help non-specialists easily differentiate L. maya from the native mantis genera that occur in Florida.

       

 

Resumen

Las especies de insectos exóticos representan una amenaza creciente para los ecosistemas nativos de la Florida a través de efectos negativos directos como depredadores de taxones nativos y efectos indirectos al competir por los recursos de alimentos y hábitat. Aunque muchas especies exóticas establecidas en Florida no tienen un impacto negativo demostrable en las comunidades de insectos nativos, sin embargo es importante documentar la presencia de especies recién establecidas para evaluar su potencial invasivo. Este estudio documenta por primera vez una población establecida de una mantis introducida, Liturgusa maya Saussure y Zehntner (Mantodea: Liturgusidae), en los Estados Unidos. El document incluye una revisión de la historia natural de la especie en su área de distribución nativa en América Central y del Sur. En la actualidad, esta mantis solo se conoce de un área pequeña y localizada; sin embargo, es posible un establecimiento más extenso en y más allá del sur de la Florida debido al clima subtropical de la región. Para facilitar el monitoreo de la población introducida de L. maya, se incluye una clave de identificación para los géneros de mantis de la Florida para ayudar a los no especialistas a diferenciar fácilmente a L. maya de los géneros de mantis nativas que existen en Florida.

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Author Biographies

Andrew J Nisip, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA

Entomology & Nematology Department

undergraduate student

Gavin Svenson, Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA E

Department of Invertebrate Zoology

Curator

Brian Fridie, Jr., Goldens Bridge, New York 10526, USA;

high-school student

Andrea Lucky, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA

Entomology & Nematology Department

Assistant Professor

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Published

2019-04-27

Issue

Section

Research Papers