For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Leaf Mantis (Phyllocrania paradoxa)

 Family Hymenopodidae
This is one instance in nature where the female is more attractive than the male who does not have any of the leaf projections on his body. I unfortunately do not have a photograph of one yet.
Although they grow to be quite large, this one is still a baby, about 2.5cm (1 1/2”) in body length and as with all young, has the lower part of her body curled up.
The female has a large, erect dorsal projection on her head and elongated eyes.
They are great mimics of the leaves they live on and will remain motionless for hours waiting for prey, even swaying their bodies in the wind in order to blend in better.
 They eat flies and any other insect which come within their grasp.

They are found in the northern and eastern regions of SA.
It caught this beautiful butterfly and was hanging upside-down feeding on it.