Orchid Mantis (Hymenopus coronatus)
Orchid Mantis photo by Luc Viatour Photography.
The orchid mantis (Hymenopus coronatus) is an unusual insect because it looks similar to an orchid. It's legs look similar to orchid petals.
They also look and behave similarly to the praying mantis to which they are related.
The orchid mantis is a carnivorous insect that spends most of its time sitting on an orchid waiting for unsuspecting insects to come along. When they do, the orchid mantis quickly snatches them up and makes a meal of them. They eat flies, moths, crickets, meal worms, and any other small non-poisonous insects that are in their vicinity.
Another benefit to looking like the orchids they rest upon, is that they are not subject to predation themselves because they are well camouflaged.
Orchid mantises are so interesting that many people keep them as pets.
You can often find orchid mantises and other mantises for sale online at many insect stores, such as:
Orchid mantises are native to the Asian rainforests.