Monday, August 25, 2008

Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa)

It's fair to say that this is the insect that piqued my amateur interest in entomology so many years ago. The eyespot visible under the forelegs of the green mantis identifies this as the European mantid, Mantis religiosa.

Their form and color conceal mantids from both potential prey or predators but when it comes to camouflage our local species can't compete with their tropical cousins ... they go absolutely over the top to imitate leaves, or flowers such as orchids.