Order: Mantophasmatodea home page
The extinct species (Rhaptophasma kerneggeri)
is preserved in 45 million year old Baltic amber from the Eocene epoch. Baltic
amber originates from forests that once covered an area encompassing the Baltic
Sea and Scandanavian Peninsula suggesting that Mantophasmatodea used to be far
more widespread in distribution than they are today. Current locality records,
which are centred in the extreme south-western part of Africa, together with the
fact that heelwalkers have not yet been discovered in well-studied areas such as
North America, Europe and Australia, indicates that the extant species are
representatives of a small relictual order with a very restricted distribution.
Mantophasmatodea are likely to have been around for much longer than 45 million
years, since fossils of sister groups such as the Orthoptera have been dated
back to the Carboniferous period (296-354 million years ago).
Back to Order: Mantophasmatodea