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.