...and adults!

Absolute masters of disguise

This Praying Mantis species is an absolute master of disguise

In 1879 a travel writer witnessed a bizarre event and described an orchid that catches and feeds upon live flies. But it wasn’t a carnivorous orchid, it was a beautiful Orchid Mantis catching its prey.

For years it was believed the orchid mantis from tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia was hiding from predators, but later scientists realized that instead of hiding, the orchid mantises were a master of disguise and they sat waiting to ambush bees, flies and other tasty snacks.

These Mantises have become incredibly adept at camouflage by mimicking parts of the orchid flower in an extraordinary display of predatory behaviour.

Its killer moves are now described as “pure ninja stealth” and scientists believe the insect is even better at catching pollinators than the orchids themselves.

Praying mantises are carnivores and prey on a variety of animals from small birds such as hummingbirds and sparrows, as well as lizards and other insects.  They will even eat another praying mantis if they get hungry enough!

Baby preying mantis’s are called nymphs.  And they pop out of the egg case really quickly and sometimes between 100-200 mantises! So if you watch a mantis giving birth, don’t blink as you might miss it!

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