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All genera of Cretaceous mantises are reviewed, and diagnoses of some are revised based on re-examination of type specimens. Five new Mantodea are described from Cretaceous deposits on four continents, including: concretions in limestone from the Santana Formation of northeast Brazil (Aptian, 120 Ma), inclusions in amber from the Raritan Formation of New Jersey, USA (Turonian, 90 Ma), and in amber from undetermined formations of Lebanon (Barremian, 125 Ma) and northern Myanmar (Burma) (approximately early Cenomanian to late Albian, 100 Ma). Prior to this, virtually all of the oldest mantises were from five Cretaceous localities in Eurasia. New Mantodea are Santanmantis axelrodi, n. gen., n. sp. (Brazil); Ambermantis wozniaki, n. gen., n. sp. (New Jersey); Jersimantis burmiticus, n. sp. (Myanmar); and Burmantis asiatica and B. lebanensis, n. gen. and n. spp. (Myanmar and Lebanon, respectively). The first two are based on adults, the last three on nymphs. Cladistic analysis of 26 morphological characters and 20 taxa, including living families and well-preserved fossils, indicates that Cretaceous mantises are phylogenetically basal to all living species and do not belong to the most basal living families Chaeteessidae, Mantoididae, and Metallyticidae. The classification of Cretaceous Mantodea is revised, which includes Santanmantidae, n. fam. and Ambermantidae, n. fam. Stratigraphic and cladistic ranks of taxa, with now improved fossil sampling, indicate that the order Mantodea is relatively recent like Isoptera (termites), with an origin no earlier than Late Jurassic. Superfamily Mantoidea, comprising three families and 95% of the Recent species in the order, radiated in the Early Tertiary to produce the exuberance of forms seen today.