53 Orchid Mantis Facts: You Will Love This Beautiful Flower! | Kidadl


53 Orchid Mantis Facts: You Will Love This Beautiful Flower!

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Arthropoda class Orchid mantis is also known as pink orchid mantis, is one elusive species of praying mantis. 

This specific species of orchid mantises use mimesis or cryptic mimicry to attract prey. They actually target pollinators by camouflaging themselves as white or pink flowers. 

The orchid mantis, which has the scientific name Hymenopus coronatus, is also called the walking flower mantis. Like any other organism species of the animal kingdom, this flower also changes its colours, but in the case of the orchid mantis, the change in colour happens quite slower.

Orchid mantises are mimic flowers that are native to the tropical rainforests of Malaysia. They are the most wanted and also the most beautiful praying mantis species that are available in the world. These specific orchid flower insects only bite when somebody provokes them, but even if they do, the bites are not very serious. Due to their orchid-like flower looks, butterflies, male bees, and various pollinating insects fall into their prey trap.

Also, you might not know, but the female orchid mantis is much larger than the male orchid mantis. There have still been studies going on to find out whether to call this insect mimic flower or predators that portray themselves as flowers. Let's further read about this praying mantis organism of Animalia phylum in detail. 

If you found this article interesting, then you may also like to read fact articles about flowers in the tropical rainforest and flowers in the Amazon Rainforest.

The Behavior Of Orchid Mantis

Orchid mantises are generally a quiet kind of praying mantis. The main behaviour of the orchid mantis is studied through female mantises. Usually, these female flowers wait for prey, and sometimes they will hunt when they detect prey in their close proximity.

On the other hand, the adult male mantis has a very skittish and hyperactive behaviour. The adult male orchid mantis often tries to fly away when they get disturbed. To their surprise, mantises have also found out that they can jump with extreme precision to land on a specific target. 

Furthermore, mantises spend most of the time in an inactive state that is quite consistent with their way of life as ambushing predators. The nymph has what Cott calls as Special Alluring Coloration. The mantis also climbs up and down the twigs of the plant until it finds the one that has flowers. As these species are carnivorous in nature, they mainly catch insects and prefer lepidopteran prey. It consists of crickets, fruit flies, beetles, stinging insects, butterflies, their eggs, and other insects.

In addition to that, orchid mantis likely breed in captivity that makes them a pretty popular and favourable pet. Thus, we do not know the breeding behaviour of the wild mantis. 

Cool Facts About Orchid Mantis

The beautiful and mysterious orchid mantis flying insects have captivated humans for centuries. One of the coolest facts about orchid mantises is that, like most of the mantis species, adult female orchid mantises are much larger than the male. Another unique thing about female orchid mantises is that they have a reputation for eating males after mating. Generally, this happens when a female or male orchid has not eaten for a long time and needs additional nutrients. 

There are also many other cool mantis orchid facts like pink orchid mantises actually look and behave like flowers. They latch onto the branches, sway back and forth, and imitate all the things that happen to a flower due to wind. The female can reach an overall length of 4 in (10 cm) in size, while the male mantis can reach a size of around 2 in (5 cm). You might not know, but orchid mantis is cryptically so coloured that it looks like a flower, and there's no denying that they can hold the title of masters of camouflage. The leg lobes or legs of mantis look like flower petals or orchids, and that is how they get their names.

One of the coolest facts about the orchid mantis is that they can see things in 3D, and that is the reason why they can eat live pray and have a unique grasping prey ability. They are also named for prominent front legs that fold together in a gesture that suggests devotion. Orchid mantises are not docile as they appear, and in fact, they are ambush predators with bullet-fast moves.

Also, when it comes to prices, the average cost of a praying mantis ranges from $20-$22 as they are fairly rare. However, their prices can fluctuate as well according to availability. Besides that, it also depends on the praying mantises you are planning to purchase. 

Female praying mantises engage in sexual cannibalism.

History Of Orchid Mantis

The history of the orchid mantis dates back to 1889 when Alfred Russel Wallace mentioned the orchid mantis, a rare species that looks like a flower in his book Darwinism. According to the historical records, there was a beautiful drawing of this rare insect in the nymph and pupa state. That picture was sent by Mr. Wood Mason, who was the main curator of the Indian Museum at Calcutta (now Kolkata). 

After doing researches, it was found out that there was a similar species inhabitant in Java where it is called the pink orchid. They closely resemble a flower, according to Wood-Mason. It was also found out that they had an anterior part, front legs, back legs and were available in different colours like white, pink, and dark orange flowers.

A similar drawing was also published in the book 'The Colours of Animals', and Poulton named it Indian orchids mantis that feeds upon other insects and attracts prey with its flower-like shape and pink colour. In fact, the apparent flower petals are actually the flattened legs of the insect. 

The orchid mantis also has their natives in Southeast Asia along with Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Their evolutionary history is associated with two known species of orchid mantises. 

Breed Of Orchid Mantis

When an orchid is not an orchid, then it is recognized as a female orchid mantis. When we talk of a breed of orchid mantises, then the female will lay a hundred eggs in a foam-like mass that is called ootheca on small trees, green vegetation, leaves, or branches. The tiny baby orchid mantises that appear after they hatch are called nymphs. As they get mature, they will shed their exoskeleton and will gain a beautiful pink or white colour. 

Another unique thing about their breeding is that they engage in sexual cannibalism. The male praying mantises do not survive the mating season as it ends with sexual cannibalism. In this situation, the female praying mantis bites off the head of the male and eats him several hours after mating. Their cannibalistic behaviour actually increases the chance of breeding success. 

After reading this article, your confusion about this imitated flower might have been cleared out. Also, to support all this information, researchers have put forward captive specimens of walking flower mantis. Just like any other species of insect, this also has an exciting story to tell and helps us understand how the natural world works around us. 

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for orchid mantis facts, then why not take a look at facts about the mayflower or wallflower plant facts?

Written By
Srija Chanda

<p>An aspiring media professional, Srija is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication at St. Xavier's University, Kolkata, after completing her degree in journalism. With experience in PR and social media, she has also honed her leadership skills through her participation in a youth parliament. Srija's interests include devouring books, watching movies, and exploring new places through travel.</p>

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