The female deposits several eggs in a typically shaped ootheca very similar to, though more elegant than, the egg-cases of the related cockroaches. They are attached to the tree-trunks, stems, to rocks or walls or in soil or grass. Each such ootheca may contain from ten to five hundred eggs and in some species the female may guard it until the young hatch. The oothecae are subject to attack by small proctotrupoid or chalcidoid wasps and mantid densities are generally limited by such parasites and by the cannibalistic habits of newly hatched nymphs (as of mating adults). There appears to be some sort of territorial behaviour in many mantids. Being general predators on any suitable insect or spider prey, they cannot be classed as 'beneficial' predators in the agricultural or forest ecosystem, but they are, undoubtedly, a more beneficial than harmful insect order.
Species of Empusa are a common type of mantid found in the Old World tropics. The very strikingly Gongylus gongyloides, Phyllothelys and Sphendale, are typically Indian in distribution. Hierodula westwoodi and Schizocephala bicornis are the commonly noticeable species in cultivation on the plains.
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