Flower mantises are species of flower praying mantis. They are called Praying mantises because of their ‘prayer-like’ posture. They mimic the appearance of the flowers that they hide in. Their legs, wings and other body parts often look like petals that helps them blending in the flower they live in.
Orchid Mantis (Hymenopus coronatus)
Orchid Mantis scientifically called Hymenopus coronatus, is a beautiful pink and white praying mantis. It has lobes on its legs that look like flower petals. Even though orchid mantis does not live on orchids, it does look extraordinarily like a flower. This species is very widely held because of its beautiful bright colors and amazing camouflage. In the wild Orchid Mantis is found in Malaysia.
This species has lobes on its legs that mimic flower petals. Its natural environment consists of white and pink flowers in wilds and small trees. In this way the mantis can remain unnoticed for predators such as birds and at the same time can catch pollinating insects that are attracted to the flowers. The orchid mantis is white with soft or bright pink accents. One mantis can change color in a matter of days, depending on their environment like humidity and light conditions.
Spiny flower mantis (Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii)
Spiny Flower Mantis has its brilliant colors and camouflaging adornments but this tiny flower like creature is a skillful predator with lightning-fast reflexes. Spiny Flower Mantis is a mostly inactive hunter, it prefers snatching food, pollinating insects, directly from the air rather than searching for the prey. It is only 3 to 5 cm long. Adults of the species have the golden spiral on their outermost wings which differentiates them from other species of flower mantises. When vulnerable, the Spiny Flower Mantis rears up and outspread these wings that give it a much more frightening creature with large golden eyes. Mating can be tricky for male mantises, they have to stay alert or they might end up becoming the female’s next meal. It is contradictory because researchers say that they aren’t averse to feasting on their own kind when hungry or overcrowded.
Giant devil’s flower mantis (Idolomantis diabolica)
The Idolomantis Diabolica is also known as the “King of all mantises” for its scary looks. It is green and brown in color. It tops other flower praying mantises species because of its beauty and size. It is one of the largest species of praying mantis that mimics flowers.
It is mostly found in Tanzania. The giant devil’s flower mantis is one of the most bizarre looking of all the other species of mantises. It is the master of camouflage, which makes it easy for him to catch its prey passing by while he lies in wait.
Thistle Mantis (Blepharopsis mendica)
The Thistle Mantis scientifically called Blepharopsis mendica is a beautiful species of praying mantis. It is native from North Africa and South East Asia. This species is sometimes also referred as Lesser Devil’s Flower Mantis. Thistle mantis is 5 to 6cm long with a little variation depending upon what sex it is.
The thistle mantis is creamy-white to beige in color. Adults have light green stripes and light green veins on the wings. The front legs are orange from inside with blue and white spots on them. These colors are visible when it rears up to scare the predators. It keeps its forearms under a small pointed sheet on its back. The males’ wings reach a little bit over the end of the abdomen and they have feathered antennae. The females’ wings extend to just the end of the abdomen, making them bulkier. Females have thin antennae.
Nigerian flower mantis (Chloroharpax modesta)
Nigerian flower mantis is a small species of flower praying mantises. It is native from West Africa. This tiny West African mantis despite of its small size attacks a prey larger then itself and hunts it down.
Unlike most flower mantis, they have beautiful round eyes with blue shade. They are green in color. Adult female has yellow eye-like spots on the wings.
Indian flower mantis (Creobroter pictipennis)
The Indian Flower Mantis scientifically known as Creobroter pictipennis is another species in the flower mantis group. Jeweled flower mantis is very similar to Indian Flower Mantis, but the two species have different patterns on their wings.
The adult males are 3cm long and slender with wings longer than their abdomen. The adult females are 4cm long and broader and bulkier than males. Females’ wings are just a little bit shorter than their abdomen. Indian Flower Mantis has a creamy-white color. Its back has green and brown blots. Its legs are stripped brown and green. Adult mantises have green wings and yellow eye patch that helps scares off the predators.
Jeweled flower mantis (Creobroter gemmatus)
As mentioned above the jeweled flower mantis is similar to the Indian flower mantis, but the pattern on the wings is different. The jeweled flower mantis is an Asian species. It is known to be hanging upside down, waiting to attack its prey as it passes by.
Abdomen of the species is colored green and white. It is usually 4cm long. Females may be slightly larger in size. Their dull color helps them blend in the flora they live in.
20 praying mantis species are found in United States only. European and Chinese versions of them are also discovered. These mantises range in color and sizes according to the floras they inhabit. Praying mantises are one of the most interesting species of insects that master camouflage. Despite of their odd looks they are beautiful to watch even when they are doing nothing. If you catch sight of a praying mantis hunting its prey, it is a memorable one.
Categorised in: Amazing Plants
This post was written by Editorial Staff