A new entry to my household is this rather wonderful specimen – a ghost mantis (Phyllocrania paradoxa), courtesy of Ornamental Insects. My macro attachment will come in useful – it’s around a centimetre long now, and will grow to only around 5cm. Sexual dimorphism in adulthood is not too pronounced – females are larger, though have less abdominal segments, while males have longer antennae. The crest on the head is fairly impressive… as was the way it was chomping through a fruit fly when I opened the tub this morning! This one is at an early instar, so I will be sure to photo-document each stage if possible.
I had a quick search on Google Scholar, but it seems like they haven’t been studied too much outside basic behavioural and ecological work – hopefully I’ll be able to dig up something cool about them or their nearest relatives though. Either that, or I’ll have to buy in a load more and do some studies myself. If anyone wants to pay me to do so, I can add a paypal button to my site…! In the meantime, you can content yourself with a little read of a post I wrote previously on sexual cannibalism in mantids.