- Manticora (genus)
Manticora tiger beetle male Manticora scabra Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Coleoptera Suborder: Adephaga Family: Carabidae Subfamily: Cicindelinae Genus: Manticora
Manticora (often misspelled Mantichora following an unjustified spelling change in 1837) is a well-known genus of tiger beetle that is endemic to Africa. Its members are the largest of the subfamily. All species are darkly colored, nocturnal, and flightless. Males usually have exaggerated mandibles compared to the females, used for clasping during copulation.
Manticoras in folklore and popular culture
In African folklore manticoras are evil creatures, often accused of being responsible for many bad things. According to legend they are doombringers. Some tribes even personify Death as a manticora whose mandibles are an equivalent to the European scythe of Death (Mareš, Lapáček, 1980).
In Jules Verne´s novel Dick Sand, A Captain at Fifteen, it is a Manticora beetle which helps Cousin Bénédict to escape from imprisonment, when the aforementioned, unguarded in a garden, follows the beetle. Since the beetle escapes from him by flying, it is possible that it is one of Verne's "scholar's jokes" (that is, a joke which only a scientist may recognize; see the entry Jules Verne) (Neff, 1978).
Manticora contains the following species:
- Manticora congoensis Peringuey, 1888
- Manticora gruti Bouchard, 1892
- Manticora holubi Mareš, 2002
- Manticora imperator Mareš, 1976
- Manticora latipennis Waterhouse, 1837
- Manticora livingstoni Laporte de Castelnau, 1863
- Manticora mygaloides Thomson, 1859
- Manticora scabra Klug, 1849
- Manticora sicheli Thomson, 1859
- Manticora skrabali Mareš, 2000
- Manticora tibialis Boheman, 1848
- Manticora tuberculata Geer, 1778
- Manticora werneri Mareš, 2000
-  (Beetles of Africa)
-  (BioLib, Biological Library, a link to a page upon the Manticora genus
- "Manticora Fabricius, 1792". Carabidae of the World. 2011. http://carabidae.pro/carabidae/manticora-fabricius-1792.html. Retrieved 29 Jun 2011.
- Ing Jaroslav Mareš, Vlastimil Lapáček, Nejkrásnější brouci tropů (The most beautiful tropical beetles), Prague, (1980)
- Ondřej Neff, Podivuhodný svět Julese Vernea (The Extraordinary World of Jules Verne), Prague, (1978)
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