Spiny Flower Mantis - Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii

Despite its appearance, with brilliant colors and camouflaging adornments, the Spiny Flower Mantis, Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii (Mantodea - Hymenopodidae), is a skillful predator. Measuring only 3 to 5 cm long, this African mantis is a mostly passive hunter, preferring to snatch pollinating insects from the air rather than wandering in search of prey. 

As with other mantids, mating can be a tricky business for males, who must stay alert or risk becoming the female’s next meal. While there is evidence that these cannibalistic tendencies may be somewhat exaggerated in regard to mating habits, mantids aren’t averse to feasting on their own kind when hungry or overcrowded. 

When threatened, the Spiny Flower Mantis will rear up and extend these wings, giving it the appearance of a much more intimidating creature with large, golden eyes.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Michael Pankratz | Locality: not indicated (2014) - [Top] - [Bottom]


A Jeweled Flower Mantis (Creobroter gemmatus, Hymenopodidae) dines “with” a Blue Triangle (or Common Bluebottle) (Graphium sarpedon, Papilionidae).

As their name implies, the flower mantids wait on and around flowers to ambush their prey.

by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu'er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese praying mantids on my Flickr site HERE…..


Spiny Flower Mantis (Pesudocreobotra wahlbergi)

…a small species of flower mantis that is native to southern and eastern Africa. Like other flower mantids this species is an aggressive mimic and mimics a flower, lying in wait until an insect attempts to pollinate it once in range the mantis will strike and can take down prey several times larger than itself. When threatened P.whalbergi will engage in deimatic behavior spreading its forewings making it seem larger and displaying eyespots which startle predators.


Images: Amada44 and Micheal Jeffries

“Gambian Spotted-eye Flower Mantis” (Pseudoharpax virescens)

…a species of Hymenopodid mantis (Hymenopididae) which is native to Western, Central and Eastern Africa. P. virescens has two distinct subspecies which are separated by range: P. v. centralis which occurs in central and eastern Africa, and P. v. virescenswhich occurs in western and central Africa. 

Like other mantids in the family Hymenopodidae P. virescens are noted flower mimics, and will use this mimicry to ambush a range of flying insects on flowers. 


Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Mantodea-Hymenopodidae-Hymenopodinae-Hymenopodini-Pseudoharpax-P. virescens

Image: Happy1892