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Orchid praying mantis

Orchid praying mantis (Hymenopus coronatus)
Photo: Espace pour la vie/Thierry Boilar
Orchid praying mantis on a flower

Make the acquaintance of the orchid praying mantis,
which you can observe in the Insectarium’s Tête-à-tête section.

The orchid praying mantis is Asiatic in origin, its natural habitat being in Southeast Asia, Malaysia and Indonesia. It camouflages easily under tropical rainforest orchids thanks to its pastel colors. That appearance has two functions: it conceals the mantis from potential predators, and it fools the different pollinators the mantis feeds on by luring them and trapping them.

French name: Mante orchidée

Latin name: Hymenopus coronatus

Order: Mantodea

Family: Hymenopodidae

Breeding: The male makes advances by drumming on the female’s thorax with its forelegs. He being about twice as small as the female, it sometimes happens that she feeds on him during mating (which takes between 24 and 36 hours). But that behavior is infrequent.

Fifteen days after mating, the female deposits an ootheca consisting of between 25 and 50 eggs. In the weeks that follow she produces as many as four other oothecae.

Egg incubation: About one and a half months

Lifespan: The male has a lifespan of 7 to 10 months, while the female can live from 12 to 18 months.

Diet: The orchid praying mantis feeds primarily on insects such as bees, butterflies and flies.

Ecological role: It’s as much a predator as prey, thus contributing to a balance in populations.

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