Jun 19, 2012

Orchid Mantis (Hymenopus coronatus)


Did you know?

That, as offspring in the first stage, an Orchid Mantis resembles ants with black body and red legs? Only after they have removed their skin once (2 nd stage), they become white. After some more seedlings, they will receive their final color, white or pink, males with a “collar” brownish-purple, and females with a necklace of green.

The Orchid Mantis is a Praying Mantis, which bears this name because it resembles an orchid flower. It has four legs resembling the petals of a flower. Most Orchid Mantis, are white, but there are morphs of pink to purple.

Females reach a total length of about 6 cm and have six abdominal segments. They are able to fly. They move seven times to reach adulthood and their life expectancy is about eight months. They are very aggressive and kept separately, except for mating. Males are considerably smaller, with only 2.5 to 3 cm long and have eight abdominal segments. Males only move five times, and live five to six months only.

If food is abundant, these specie can be kept in groups. The males fly very well and mature much faster than females. About two weeks after their final molt, the females are ready to mate. Days or weeks after mating, they lay their egg cases, (i.e., groups of eggs surrounded by a protein foam) measuring about 5 cm long that are white at first, but change to light brown after a day or two. Between 50 and 100 nymphs hatch within 5-6 weeks.

The diet of juveniles (nymphs) consists of small insects. Adults eat anything they can catch, including a wide range of flying insects and lizards. They may also eat small pieces of banana.

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