Orchid Mantis Care Sheet
The orchid mantis (Hymenopus coronatus) is a stunning insect which is a perfect example of evolved camouflage. This insect, which is also known by quite a number of common names such as Malaysian orchid praying mantis, Malaysian orchid mantis, and Pink orchid mantis, comes from Malaysia, Indonesian, and Sumatran rain forests. The moment you see an orchid mantis, you will be instantly attracted by its beautiful and radiant colors which usually mimic the surroundings in which they are observed. The most common coloration of this species includes white, pink and purple though occasionally yellow and lime green colorations can also be found. Its legs have semi-circular lobes that resemble the petals of a flower or orchid, and hence the name, orchid mantis. Because of its exotic and captivating beauty, many people keep this insect as a pet.
The orchid mantis is characterized by colorations of white, pink or a combination of both. It is capable of changing its color depending on environmental factors such as light and humidity. It has semi-circular lobes on its legs that look like flower petals. This insect is commonly found among flowers in bushes and small trees. Its peculiar shape that resembles a flower provides the best camouflage in such a habitat. In this way, the mantis can remain undetected by predators such as birds, lizards, bats, rodents etc. This amazing camouflage also helps the insect to easily catch its prey without being seen.
The male and female orchid mantis differs both in their size and appearance. An adult male mantis is about 2.5 cm long and is smaller in size when compared to a female mantis which is approximately 6 to 7 cm long. Males have pink-orange body with long white wings whereas females show variation in their color. While the female mantis has a green colored spot on her back, the male has a brown colored spot. Another difference is that females have large lobes on their legs whereas in the case of males, this lobe is almost absent.
These insects have the reputation of being extremely docile and calm. When threatened, they either try to scare the predator, or confuse it by flattening themselves and assuming the shape of a flower.
The orchid mantis is a species that requires high humidity (around 60 to 80%). Humidity can be increased by spraying the enclosure once a day. Although the ideal temperature is about 28 ° C, it can be varied between 25 ° and 35 ° C. If you want to mate a male and female mantis, it is essential to alter their growth rate. Since males grow faster than females, you need to slow down the growth of the males by keeping them at a cooler temperature of about 15 to 18 ° C.