Friday, September 3, 2010

Creature Feature - Grizzled Mantis

This is a Grizzled Mantis (Gonatista grisea) female.  The males have wings that cover the abdomen.  They are predaceous insects, typically feeding on other arthropods.  The females are more commonly seen because the males are often eaten immediately after mating.  
They are known for their ability to blend in with their surroundings.  This species is also sometimes known as the Lichen Mimic Mantid.  This two inch long one was nearly invisible on the trunk of a starfruit tree.
*UPDATE* -- When I published this post this morning, I had only seen this bug the one time I took the photo, but lo and behold... when I went out in the garden this afternoon, there was a male on the same tree!  Maybe I'll soon have lots of little Lichen Mimic Mantids running around here!  Here's his picture..

The First Friday Creature Feature is a monthly event on this blog, held on the First Friday of every month.
This month I'm inviting anyone who has recently posted about a creature in their garden to join in on the fun.  Simply link below and leave a comment.  Thanks for participating!


Carol@KeepingUpWith said...

How did you ever see her? I think I need to start wearing my reading glasses in the garden! Who knows what I might be missing.

AaronVFT said...

It's camouflaging!

ProfessorRoush said...

Interesting that your mantis is so camo-ed. They come that way in Kansas as well, but colored light brown like the fall prairie grasses.

Kimberly said...

Bugs are a spooky house. I'm curious and want to see them, but get the shivers...and then I have to look at them again! :) There's probably more of these little guys than you're aware of...just can't see them!

Anonymous said...

I just found 3 of these yesterday in my back yard, on a mossy covered tree.. I almost stuck my hand on it when leaning on the tree and saw something move.. Very pre-historic looking. I have males and a female. Very interesting bug!