The insect collection of the Museum of Zoology, University of São Paulo (MZSP), is one of the largest collections representative of the Neotropical fauna in the world. A few groups within this collection have been historically neglected, such as praying mantises (Mantodea). This work is an attempt to present to the scientific community the taxa housed in the MZSP and its geographical coverage. The collection houses approx. 3500 individuals distributed in six families and 14 subfamilies, with members of Acanthopidae, Mantidae and Thespidae as the best represented taxa.