Jan 2, 2008

A Gift for You

I feel like it's Christmas all over again, and I get to give you this precious gift (well, at least I can pass this gift along).

This is one of my new favorite insects. It is known as Hymenopus coronatus, or the orchid mantis. They are native to the rain forests of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Sumatra, though this particular specimen is a pet.

You'll see the nymph in the bottom photos. They begin life looking like army ants, and slowly, with each new melt, take on the coloration of their surroundings. In the second photo you can see that the legs are camoflaged to look like flower petals.

When full grown they dine on the usual plate of insects, grubs, and small lizards. When they are threatened they flatten themselves to look like flowers. But if attacked, they respond in kind.

As with everytime I post on mantids, I have the uneasy feeling that this bug knows something I don't. It's something in the eyes and those folded arms.

Thanks for letting me use your photos, Jenn. You have talent (and pretty pets).


Jade said...

This is one of the prettiest bugs in the world. Hands down!

Arachnophile said...

This is a gift wombat! These are gorgeous animals. Orchids are by far, my favorite plant for reasons well beyond their beauty, but combine that with the Mantid, which is one of the world's most perfect creatures.... *Sublime*

Cindy said...

I love mantids, too. Definitely not ugly.

Anonymous said...

Wow... I'm SO not a bug person, but even I gotta admit that this is just absolutely beautiful.
I never knew this particular kind even existed, very awesome.

Anonymous said...


Jack Ruttan said...

The guys on the bottom make a living spelling out the team names in Kanji during baseball games in Japan.

Anonymous said...

In the wikipedia article you linked to?

" Adults will eat anything they can catch, this includes small lizards, bees without stingers, house flies,small children, butterflies, moths and other non-venomous flying insects."


Anonymous said...

Nope, sorry. i gotta say ew. those buggy eyes. and the way they hold their hands up like their waiting for you to walk close enough so they can wrap them around you and eat you. Ew. Sorry, guys.

Unknown said...

pretty! i like mantids. thanks for the gift! ^_^