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Background: The praying mantids (Mantodea: Dictyoptera) are predatory insects they play a very vital role in management of insect population in nature. Familywise distribution pattern of mantids of the world is not compiled so far. The work will help to solve some needs pertaining to studies on world mantids of these families, such as synonymic handling and distributions, as well as the lack of a complete and up-todate listing of the species.
Materials & Methods: In preparing of this checklist, recent world literatures (published up to November, 2016) were scrutinized for synonymy of the species along with the information available at two websites (http://mantodea.speciesfile.org and http://www.gbif.org/species) accessed on 25 November, 2016.
Results: The praying mantids are a group of over 2641 species of predatory insects (Order Mantodea: Superorder Dictyoptera) distributed in tropical and subtropical habitats of the world, from the rainforest to the desert ground. Currently, the order Mantodea comprises 16 families, out of which the global distribution of 2 families: Tarachodidae and Toxoderidae is provided in this compilation. The family Tarachodidae includes a broad assemblage of 31 genera and 247 species distributed in China, Tropical and subtropical Asia, Indomalaya, Tropical Africa, south-western Europe, and Neotropical USA. The family Toxoderidae is less speciose (14 genera, 61 species) and ecologically diversified lineage of praying mantids distributed in Indian subcontinents, Indonesia, Southwest Asia, Tropical Africa, Afghanistan, and Australia.
Conclusion: The two families of Mantodea: Tarachodidae and Toxoderidae containing 308 species are mostly distributed in Tropical Africa, southwest and southeast Asia, southwest Europe, and Australia. Only 28 species belong to India.