Sure, you’ve heard of the Praying Mantis. But have you met its cousin, Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii, also known as the Spiny Flower Mantis?
The Spiny Flower Mantis, or Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii, is a beautiful and colorful flower mantis. They are white with orange and green stripes, and as adults, they have a beautiful patch of color on their wings that looks like an eye. These stunning and unique insects have a size of about 4cm (1.5inch), and photographer wildlife Pang Way has a keen eye for such small creatures.
A big and important part of Way’s work is mantises or praying mantises like people like to call them. They got this name for their prominent front legs, which are bent and held together at an angle that suggests the position of prayer.
Few photographers have portrayed just how stunning these little berserk fellas are. And Way is one of them. Continue scrolling and enjoy these fascinating pics.
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The praying mantis is named for its prominent front legs, which are bent and held together at an angle that suggests the position of prayer. Spiny Flower Mantids are approximately 4 to 5 inches cm as adults. Males and females look pretty similar in this species.
By any name, these fascinating insects are formidable predators. They have triangular heads poised on a long “neck,” or elongated thorax. Mantids can turn their heads 180 degrees to scan their surroundings with two large compound eyes and three other simple eyes located between them.
Typically green or brown and well camouflaged on the plants among which they live, mantis lies in ambush or patiently stalk their quarry. They use their front legs to snare their prey with reflexes so quick that they are difficult to see with the naked eye. Their legs are further equipped with spikes for snaring prey and pinning it in place.
Moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, and other insects are usually the unfortunate recipients of unwanted mantid attention. However, the insects will also eat others of their own kind. The most famous example of this is the notorious mating behavior of the adult female, who sometimes eats her mate just after—or even during—mating. Yet this behavior seems not to deter males from reproduction.
Females regularly lay hundreds of eggs in a small case, and nymphs hatch looking much like tiny versions of their parents.
A 2016 study found that when female Chinese mantises consume their mates, they acquire important amino acids that are then incorporated into the eggs they lay, appearing to lay twice as many eggs after cannibalizing a male than they normally would.
“I got into wildlife photography out of curiosity,” Way told Bored Panda. “It’s something I have been interested in since I was a child.”
“Mantises are my favorite insects. For me, mantises are the perfect models for macro photography.”
Way started taking photos of mantises in 2013. Now, he has photographed over 100 species of them and has vowed to continue looking for more.
The photographer said one needs both luck and skill to take a good mantis photo. However, Way welcomes the challenge. “Mantises may look aggressive but actually they are very gentle and they all look like professional models.”
As with all species of praying mantis, this species needs an enclosure that is at least 3 times the length of the animal in height, and at least 2x the length of the animal in width. For an adult this means is at least 15 cm in height and 10 cm in width. A nice size for a terrarium would be 20 x 15 x 15 cm (hxwxd), so there is room for lots of fake plants and perches. Especially white or yellow plastic flowers look amazing in an enclosure with this species of mantis, as the mantis will blend into the environment of the flowers really well.
This species is cannibalistic, like most species of praying mantis. It will eat anything that moves and is the correct size, also members of its own species or family members. Young nymphs (up to L4) can be kept together, but the older they are the more likely they will eat each other.