• Wildcreatures

The lovely Flower Mantid

Hong Kong is blessed with quite a few different praying mantids, and this one - the Creobroter gemmata | Flower Mantid - has to be one of my favourites.

Distinctive with its lime green body, this medium-sized Mantid has a stouter body than most and pair of cone-shaped compound eyes protruding upwards. Its forewings often bear large eye spots with markings in the middle, and the strong, sickle-like front legs have serrated spines for catching small insects.

The markings on its wings are thought to resemble prey species for other insects, and this beasty will quite happily take on prey much larger than itself, including wasps and hoverflies. This mantid's name comes from its habit of hiding between the petals of flowers while waiting for a meal to come to it.

You may find the small nymphs, which will molt approximately every two weeks; the time between molts gradually increases as the mantids get closer to adulthood. During molting, a mantis hangs upside down, sometimes shaking, and eventually wiggles out of its skin. It takes six to seven molts for a mantis to reach maturity.

This uncommon species may sit quietly on a branch and wait for prey for several hours, making it difficult to discover, but look for them soon as they appear in Hong Kong from June to November.

Someone in the PostOffice likes them as much as i do, as they even had their own stamp:

    ©2018 by WildCreaturesHongKong.