The Lovely Orchid Mantis

This species of praying mantis looks harmless to predators and prey

The Lovely Orchid Mantis

What is there not to love about orchids? The beautiful flowers known as Orchidaceae is one of the largest flower families on earth with many different species totaling more than 20,000. It is now wonder that these magnificent flowers would give birth to some of the most interesting and colorful insects.

Hymenopus Coronatus

The orchid mantis, also known as Hymenopus Coronatus, is an insect that resembles the central stamen of the orchid. The mantis can be many different colors as it matures. Typically, the hymenopus coranatus has a dark orange tint after it is birthed. Then as it matures, it becomes white with pink accents which helps the insect camouflage itself among the orchids. Sometimes its accents are pink or yellow, depending on its gender and maturation.

The Lovely Orchid Mantis  The Lovely Orchid Mantis

Male orchids are usually 2.5 cm long which is much smaller than the 7-cm female mantis. To make up for its size, the male has longer wings than the female. It also has a pink-orange body and white wings. The female orchid mantis has huge lobes on her legs which are something the male lacks. The lobes are the areas that mimic flower petals. Females also have a green spot on their backs, and males have a brown spot.

The orchid mantis can be found in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. The camouflage protects the mantis from getting eaten by birds and other flying creatures. It also helps the insect lie in wait as it captures its prey. Orchid Mantises consider bees as prey, and they are great at catching them with their colorful camouflage.

The Lovely Orchid Mantis  The Lovely Orchid Mantis  The Lovely Orchid Mantis

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