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Flower Power

7 Jun
An orchid mantis on flowers.

An mantis lurks on flowers, awaiting prey.

I found this flower mantid doing as it’s name might suggest in Argentina.  The most well known flower mantis is the Malaysian orchid mantis, a striking pink flower-mimic.  These particular flowers were buzzing with insect activity, so this mantis had found a good hunting spot.

Like many insects which lack a pupal stage (such as a cocoon or chrysalis), immature and mature mantises can be distinguished by the development of the wings. In this juvenile mantis (called a nymph), the two pairs of partially developed wings are visible as ‘wing pads’ just before the down-turned abdomen.  The wings will only be fully formed after the final shedding of the exoskeleton as the mantis achieves its final adult form.  Only adult insects have wings, although some species, such as worker ants, walking sticks, and burrowing roaches have become secondarily wingless in the adult form.

Here’s another shot.