picture by Igor Siwanowicz
Idolomantis diabolica, commonly known as the Devil’s Flower Mantis or Giant Devil’s Flower Mantis, is one of the largest species of praying mantis, possibly the largest that mimics flowers. It is the only species classified under the genus Idolomantis.
“Newborn nymphs of Idolomantis diabolica are shiny black in color. This is probably to mimic ants in nature, to deter predators. Older nymphs are beige to light brown in color. The color is pretty dull and without a clear pattern. When adult the colors are completely different and very impressive. On the outside this mantis is white-and-green striped. On the inside of its predatory arms this mantis species has bright red, white, blue and black markings. When resting these colors cannot be seen, but when it feels threatened it will raise its body and point its arms upwards, showing the bright colors.
The amazing colors are not the only impressive feature of the appearance of the Devils Flower Mantis. The older the nymphs get, the more pronounced the appendages on the body become. On the back of the body a huge shield is formed, looking like a dry leaf. The head and abdomen has smaller protrusions mimicking dead leaves.
This mantis species will become very large. The body of an adult female will be about 10 cm in length. The males will get the same body length but have a more slender body and huge feathered antennae.” via [KeepingInsects]
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