Galepsus Stäl is a genus within the Mantodea and has hardly been studied in Africa. The distribution of the Galepsus genus in Southern Africa was established, based on insect collection records, and the biology of Galepsus (Lygdamia) lenticularis Saussure, was studied. In Southern Africa, 11 species of Galepsus were recorded. The first record of Galepsus (Onychogalepsus) centralis Beier, in South Africa was recorded during this study. The mean number of eggs per ootheca was 49.8 (±21.1) and unfertilized oothecae were significantly shorter and contained fewer eggs than hatched and unhatched oothecae, suggesting that females might invest fewer resources into production of oothecae that will not produce prodigy. No parthenogenesis was observed during this study. Although the mean duration of the male and female nymphal stages were similar, longevity of adult females (91.2 ± 35.0 days) was three times longer than that of males (26.3 ± 15.4 days). This phenomenon as well as the long period (20 ± 14.1 days) between oviposition of different oothecae, and duration of the incubation period (20.25 ± 6.3 days) suggests a survival strategy to reduce competition between siblings. Total longevity of males (166.9 ± 38.8) and females (252.9 ± 54.2) differed significantly. This study provides information on the distribution of Galepsus spp. in Southern Africa and describes the biology of G. lenticularis under captive breeding conditions, and contributes to the understanding of various biological aspects of G. lenticularis which has never been studied before.
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