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We consider the problem of maximizing the lifetime of a given multicast connection in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) that use omnidirectional antennas and have limited energy resources. Unlike most multicast algorithms that use centralized greedy algorithms to achieve maximum lifetime in static ad hoc networks, we present two distributed multicast algorithms, i.e., basic energy-efficient multicast (BEEM) and distributed maximum lifetime multicast (DMLM), for the same optimization problem in MANETs. Our distributed algorithms also explore the localized operations to take advantage of the power saving offered by the wireless multicast advantage property in mobile networks. The extensive simulation results have shown that our DMLM algorithm outperforms other proposals in terms of multicast lifetime under different node mobilities.